Taking Time for Favas
The vernal equinox may be the technical start of spring, but those of us that live here in Seattle don’t really consider it spring until we sequester the fuzzy coats and bring out the flip-flops. And now that we’re heading into its latter half, things are downright gorgeous around here. Asparagus, rhubarb, green garlic, English peas, artichokes and fava beans, all those harbingers of the season, surround us.
Their bright, fresh flavors are a welcome awakening to palates that have by now grown a bit weary of heavier fare. In our house, we have been immensely enjoying all of these spring vegetables, with one glaring exception: those elusive fava beans I always put off cooking, then inevitably wonder why. Sure, they do take a little extra effort, but the reward is well worth it.
Not wanting to get bogged down with the idea of preparing enough favas to be a side dish for four, I decided to just get a couple pounds, cook them up and toss them into whatever struck my fancy. After all, the lush spring flavors that are packed in those giant pods would surely complement any number of spring delights, except for maybe rhubarb – although I am just weird enough to find that challenge intriguing.
Deciding to take this task on myself because not everyone is lucky enough to have little helpers, I grabbed my bag of beans and decided to catch up on some foodie television. I didn’t even get to see the end before my favas were prepped for a quick boil.
Once my beans were ready for their notorious second shelling, I thought I’d leave them for another day, but after popping one in my mouth that seemed out of the question. I began to scheme about the asparagus risotto they should be added to, or the pasta and pancetta they would surely enhance. Pop, pop, pop, mmm…..delicious.
Maybe I’d just toss them into a salad with a nice lemony vinaigrette. Serving ideas were popping into my head almost as fast as those buttery nuggets were popping out of their little shells. Having consumed nearly half the bowl at this point, I decided to restrain myself. Perhaps I’ll just save the rest for my lunch tomorrow. If it’s in the name of research, do I really have to share?
What are you making with your favas? Share in the comments below. Need some inspiration? Try this delightfully spring spread – Fava Bean and Mint Hummus!