Every Wednesday afternoon I go to the local farmers market to see what’s good out there and to get inspired. It’s Spring and I’ve been scouring the markets for green garlic and wild leeks or ramps, these grow abundantly in the Northeast, I’m so freaking jealous, but here in the Southwest they are hard to come by. Since we had a cool and damp winter I thought that perhaps these lovely herbs would be available. So far I’ve found green garlic, baby leeks but no ramps. There are tons of varieties of spring onions I’ve found too and I always take home at least one bunch to make one of my favorite sauces. This past Wednesday I grabbed some torpedo onions, excited to give them a try. They remind me of a combo of leeks and shallots, the outsides have a purple blush while the insides are ombre rings of pink to white.
I also grabbed a pound of fava beans and a beautiful head of purple gem lettuce, at least that’s what I’m calling it. This post is brought to you by green and purple! I love beans, they’re so delicious and so good for you and despite the rhyme, with a healthy diet I’ve found they cause me little to no tummy troubles. 😉 You know what I’m talking about. Fava beans have a similar flavor as edamame and are versatile in many types of recipes.
One of my favorite ways to eat beans lately, I’ve been pretty obsessed, is by marinating them with fresh herbs, garlic, citrus and shallots soaked in red wine vinegar. It hits all the notes, tangy, a little sweet, a little salty, garlicy and herby and I’m totally salivating. The herby sauce is delicious on it’s own and is very similar to a chimichurri, it makes anything taste good. In fact, I put marinated beans on so many dishes it has basically become a condiment in my kitchen.
So in honor of Spring and new growth I give you marinated fava beans.
If you’ve never used fava beans before you have a little work ahead of you. First, things first, the fava beans need to be de-shelled. Pull the tip of the pod down, unzipping the seem and run your finger down the inside spine to remove the beans. Then blanch them quickly in boiling water for a minute or so, and shock them in ice water to stop the cooking process. You’re not done. There is a waxy layer that needs to be removed but is very easy to after they have been blanched. I know, it seems like a lot of work but it really gives you an idea of how meal preparation used to be. It’s worth it though. The rest of the recipe comes together very quickly, especially if you have a food processor.
Marinated Fava Beans
1 lb of fava beans
1/4 cup of thinly sliced torpedo onions (or red onion or shallots)
1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
1 cup of fresh herbs (parsley, dill, tops of torpedo onions or green onions)
1/4 – 1/3 cup of Olive oil
Fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper
1. Shuck the fava beans. Next boil enough water to cover the beans and cook them for a minute or two. Then strain the beans and shock them in an ice water bath to stop the cooking process. Next, remove the waxy layer, I used a small knife to cut a slit then pushed the bright green bean out of it’s shell.
2. Place sliced onion in a small bowl and pour the red wine vinegar over. Let it sit for at least 5 minutes, this softens the onions. In a food processor place the assorted herbs and pulse until finely chopped. Then drizzle in the olive oil and pulse a few times.
3. Then pour the herby mixture into the bowl with the onions and red wine vinegar and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper and fresh lemon juice. This sauce is so delicious on it’s own!
4. Add the fava beans to the herby sauce and stir to combine, adjust seasoning if necessary. You could serve the marinated beans now but they longer they sit in the sauce the better they are. These will last up to a week in the fridge.
*I made little tartines by using the marinated fava beans on toast with shaved parmesan.
*Another tartine had a ricotta spread where I blended some of the fava beans with fresh ricotta and used that spread as the base then spooned the marinated fava beans on top with shaved parmesan.
This recipe can be adjusted in so many ways, experiment with different herbs and different types of beans. You can always add more or less olive oil, red onion, lemon juice…it’s up to you! These are just guide lines.