Today I hit the market nice and early to meet fellow blogger and friend Kim (aka: The Farmers Marketer) for shopping and coffee. She pointed me toward the baskets of fava beans that Tantré Farms was offering, and after discussing the probability that these could be more trouble than they’re worth, we each bought two boxes.
With my market bag filled with local edibles, I headed home to figure out lunch, committed to making something easy but fabulous with the favas.
A Note: Fava beans may be the ultimate “slow food” vegetable, considering that a pound or so of whole fava beans, once shelled, only yields about a cup and a half of beans. Once shelled, the beans need to be blanched and then popped from their skins, yielding about a cup of edible food.
Once prepped, fava beans are quick cooking and easy to use in all sorts of tasty recipes from soups to dips to sautés, as I did below.
Sauté of Fava Beans, Artichokes, and Pancetta (Yields one generous serving)
1-2 pound of unshelled fresh fava beans
8-10 ounces of artichoke hearts, quartered (I used frozen ones, defrosted)
3 Tablespoons diced onion
2 ounces pancetta, chopped
3 jarred Pepperoncini peppers, drained, left whole
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
Parmesan Cheese, for sprinkling
1. Prep the fava beans: Remove beans from their pods. Drop beans into a pot of salted, boiling water for 3 minutes; drain, then transfer to an ice water bath for 5 minutes. Remove skins from each bean. Discard pods and skins.
2. In a large frying pan, fry pancetta over medium heat for 3 minutes or so, until it starts to crisp a bit and a good bit of the fat is rendered to liquid. Pour off some of the fat if desired.
3. Add onions and Pepperoncini, sauté until onion is soft and translucent.
(Onion, pancetta, and pepperoncini- what wouldn't taste good after mingling with these ingredients?)
4. Add artichoke hearts, sautéing over medium-high heat until heated through and lightly browned.
5. Add fava beans, stirring lightly for 1-2 minutes. Add lemon juice, toss lightly.
6. Transfer vegetables to plates, topping with black pepper and Parmesan cheese.