Those who know me know that I love the .
Any Saturday that my family is in town, you can find us meandering the aisles, arms laden with canvas bags, kids' faces streaming with fresh fruit juices. Last summer I started a summer cooking feature on my blog and this year, I'm bringing it to Patch.
My daughter Maddie is an adventurer. She astounds us with her willingness to branch out and try new things, whether it's boogie boarding with her Daddy on vacation or exploring the woods at Grammy's house. Fortunately for me, Maddie is also an adventurer when it comes to eating. She is constantly asking to try new vegetables and fruits that we discover at the Farmer's Market. This week it was fava beans, along with the squash recipe we had already decided on.
A quick search on fava beans turns up all kinds of interesting recipes, everything from pesto to crostini. Yet, when introducing a new food to my kiddos, I try to bring out the true, unaltered flavors in order to establish it on their palate. One great thing about fava beans is that they naturally appeal to kids' playful natures. The pod itself is large, textural, and looks like something out of a cartoon, beans tempting to pop themselves right out.
Maddie helped me split the pods and pluck out the beans. We boiled the beans for a couple minutes and then plunged them into an ice bath. After a minute or so of cooling, we slipped the skins right off. Back into the wiped-out pot with a little butter, salt and pepper, and two minutes later we we were snatching them off the plate as fast as our hands could go.
The flavor is comparable to fresh garden (English) peas, yet more robust and earthy. Maddie gobbled the sauteed beans like she was popping chips at a barbecue.
For the squash, we mostly followed a recipe I found through Cooking Light, making a few minor adjustments. My family doesn't generally get excited about cooked squash, but the texture of thinly sliced raw vegetables paired with cheese, prosciutto, and a light lemon tang provided a refreshing taste of Summer.
If you happen to visit the Farmer's Market this Saturday, be sure to pick up some fava beans and give them a try. And look for me — I'll be traipsing about, giddy over strawberries and asparagus, debating with my daughter over which new rainbow-colored vegetable to try this week.
Fava Beans, Plain and Simple
1 pound fava bean pods
Salt and Pepper
Start a pot of boiling water and prepare an ice bath. Enlist your children to help shell the beans. Pop them open with your fingers and set beans aside.
When water is boiling, add beans all at once to pot. Boil for about five minutes, or until beans are just tender but still green. Pour immediately into an ice bath and allow them to sit for a few minutes. Wipe out the pot with a paper towel.
When cool enough to handle, slip beans from their outer skins. Place a small pat of butter in the pan over medium heat and toss beans to coat. Saute for a couple minutes, remove from heat, and stir in a little salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
Shaved Zucchini with Prosciutto Crisps
recipe found here