I know that it’s officially summer, but here in New England we are still enjoying spring vegetables at the farmer’s markets. I didn’t see many peas but I did collect some fava beans. This was my first time to cook with favas and I have to say they are really good. I decided to try them out with Heidi Swanson’s Spring Ragout recipe, which she posted on her blog 101 Cookbooks a while back.

Instead of the asparagus I cut up and boiled two artichoke hearts, which I roughly chopped then cut into slivers. Once the artichoke had cooked I threw in some frozen peas, which defrosted quickly. Then I grated a little lemon zest, squeezed a little lemon juice, used a splash of whole milk instead of cream (that’s what I had) and shaved some raw milk Parmesan cheese instead of Pecorino. I have to say it was really delicious. I served it over cappelletti pasta. It was a refreshing spring dish, even in the heart of summer!

In case you don’t know how to prepare fava beans (I didn’t), you need to parboil them to get the beans out from their skins. Here’s what you do:

  • Shell the beans
  • Place the beans (in their skin) in boiling, salted water
  • Let boil for 1 minute
  • Remove from water and run cold water over them to stop cooking
  • When they are cool enough to handle slip the beans from their skins

Voila! Now you can eat them as is or cook them further in a number of yummy recipes that I have yet to try myself.

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