Tonight, I spotted a basket of fresh fava pods in Savenor’s market, so I added a few handfuls to my bag. Originally, I was going to bring them home and set them aside until I procured the ingredients necessary to make one of La Cucina’s recipes, but instead, I chose to use them immediately and make one of my tried-and-true springtime favorites - favas with tomato and pecorino.
If you come across fresh fava bean pods during your next trip to the market, be sure to try this recipe. It takes some time, but the fresh, clean flavors make it worth the effort.
4 lb. / 1.75 kilo favas in pods (about 4 c. when shelled)
4 medium sized fresh tomatoes, seeded and cut into small dice
4 T / 60 g pecorino romano, chopped or coarsely grated
1 large clove garlic, crushed with the flat edge of a knife
5 T / 75 mL top-quality olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 t. / 15 g smoked sea salt
First, you must prepare the favas. This step can be done ahead of time. Some people like to boil the pods whole and then shell them, but I prefer to peel the pods open and pop the individual beans out - it takes a little longer, but if you’re cooking with others, this is a great shared task to do over a glass of wine and some great conversation. Or, if you’re cooking alone, pop on your hands-free headset and call someone you haven’t talked to in a while, or do it while you’re watching your favorite TV show.
Once the favas are out of the pods, boil them for 1-2 minutes in boiling water. Once they’ve cooked for about 2 minutes and they’ve swelled a bit, drain them immediately and rinse in cold water. Now, you’re ready to slip the beans out of their skins - simply pierce the skins with your thumbnail and squeeze; the bean should pop right out. Once the skin is removed from all the beans, you’re ready to prepare the salad.
Combine the shelled and peeled favas with the tomatoes, pecorino, garlic, and olive oil. Gently stir to combine. Refrigerate for about an hour, checking at 10-15 minute intervals to gently toss.
Once the salad has chilled for at least an hour, remove the garlic clove, and add the smoked salt and a generous sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper. Stir to combine, and serve in individual bowls with a crisp Italian white wine.
Nutritional info: 4 servings. Per serving - 505 calories, 22 g fat, 34.6 g carbohydrates, 24.2 g protein