I recently presented a dish where fava beans play an important role: insalata di fragole. Since I keep finding fresh fave at the farmers' market, I keep trying different combinations. Here is the most recent: insalata di fave, fagiolini, granturco e carote (fava bean, snap bean, corn and carrot salad).
Once again, I prepared each element separately, then combined them:
- fave: get the beans out of 1 lb of pods and blanch them briefly. Let cool, then remove the tough outer layer. As an aside, I read recently that fava beans can be grilled. Since I don't have a grill, I stick to the old "shelling and blanching" method.
- fagiolini: remove tail and top from 1 lb of snap beans (I prefer not to call them green beans, since they can be of other colors as well). Wash the beans and boil them to desired tenderness (personal taste in this matter varies)
- granturco: steam two ears of corn and then separate the kernels from the cob (save the cobs, then follow Christine's instructions to make corn cob stock).
- carote: scrub two carrots and julienne them.
Bring the ingredients together in a serving bowl and mix. Season as desired. I tend to stay very close to the tradition I grew up with, i.e., olio d'oliva e aceto (olive oil and vinegar), the first good quality and the second nowadays balsamic (rather than home-made). I also added a bit of Dijon mustard. Add salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste and toss.
For the second rendition of the salad, I did something different: I omitted the pepper and added a peach (pesca), peeled and cut into pieces. I did this because one of the peaches I had bought at the farmers' market came out a bit bruised from the basket and needed immediate attention. The combination worked out nicely, as the peach accented the sweetness of sweet corn and carrots.
The spoken language corner: prendere due piccioni con una fava (to kill two birds with one stone) literally means "to catch two pigeons with one fava bean." I must admit I like the Italian version of the idiom better.
This is my entry for the lovely event My Legume Love Affair - Second Helping just unveiled by Susan, The Well-Seasoned Cook. The first edition back in February was a wild success, so Susan has decided to make it a monthly event, a great excuse to put more beans into our pots.
Click on the button to hear me pronounce the Italian words mentioned in the post:
or launch the insalata di fave audio file [mp3].
[Depending on your set-up, the audio file will be played within the browser or by your mp3 player application. Please, contact me if you encounter any problems.]