April 28, 2007

Market lunch

Fresh Fava Beans

The one problem with cooking with the seasons, is that there are only certain foods at certain times of the year, and at some point you may get tired of them. But Italians are very creative, and so I was inspired again today to continue cooking with Fava Beans.
The hills are planted with them to recharge the Earth's batteries, with Azote ( vitamin B),
so I am sure it is good for me too!

When the fava beans are young and tender, primizie, when they first appear at the markets there is no need to cook them. The beans are served in the pods in a basket on the table with forms of fresh creamy white pecorino cheese.

Todays market basket, fresh fava beans and radishes.

also in the market were thin new florentine zucchini, with their blossoms
They are ridged and full of flavor.

Today's lunch, water buffalo mozzarella with fresh fava puree

To make the puree
Parboil the shelled fava beans for 4 minutes in salted boiling water.
Puree with extra virgin olive oil
salt, to taste
grated pecorino or parmesan cheese.
Think of it as a Tuscan hummus
( now I need to make Pita Bread!)

Fabulous served on toast or with cheese as I did.
Tomorrow the leftovers maybe a pasta sauce!

Artichoke update
It is growing very quickly and at the base of this artichoke are two smaller ones.
this may also be lunch tomorrow.
Someone said it may be the morellino variety, which is often eat raw
as Carpaccio or Pinzimonio

Pinzimonio is an Italian way of eating raw veggies
each person prepares their small bowof extra virgin olive oil
seasoned to taste with salt , pepper is if you like it.

The cleaned and prepared vegetables are then dipped in the seasoned oil.

When you have the best ingredients.. there is nothing to hide in sauces!

What's coming next?

Today I picked up an Eggplant plant ( far left) and two strawberry plants.

Tomorrow flea marketing!


  1. Hey, Jude! This month's Sale e Pepe has some recipes for fave too. I am all agog, because ours will be ready within a few days. LOVE fave.

    I mastered dried ones following the Puglia trip. Love those, too.

  2. I have stopped buying magazines.. got too scary..
    want 20 years of sale e Pepe, Cucina Italiana and ....

    I adore Puglia.. and am thinking I wouldn't mind moving there...

    love the fava bean soup with fried pasta!

  3. So much great seasonal stuff. You are right on the mark.

  4. I have 2 confessions:

    1. I LOVE fava beans!

    2. I buy the frozen ones. Yikes! But I can get a big bag of ones from the Abruzzo that just need the skins peeled off (which is enough work, thank you very much...). I make a puree like you do, but sautée them in olive oil before mashing them in my mortar & pestle.

    Someday I'm going to try Paula Wolfer'ts cassoulet with 8 cups of peeled fava beans!

  5. David, Paula must have a lot of friends coming over to help her!
    I am surprised as most middle eastern recipes are for dried Fava beans.

    hey.. frozen is good for me!
    I LOVE frozen peas!

  6. Ciao bella! I have to admit I have a love-hate relationship with fava beans. When they first appear here in Nice they are so small that by the time you peel them there is always nothing left! But they are bigger now and I'll be trying your purée today. Can't wait!

  7. Since I moved to Italy, bitter has become one of my favorite flavors and the fava's have a tiny bite.
    But right now in early spring, their sweetness comes through, almost like peas.

    As they get older, then we start to stew them, with asparagus , artichokes, peas and garlic and pancetta.
    In Lucca they call it Garmugia, in Rome Vignarola.

    Evolution due to seasons and size.