Farmer simplicity: fava beans with pecorino, mint, oil and ramps
|May 13, 2010||Posted by ameliaps under beans, fava, pecorino, spring, vegetables, vegetarian|
Spring is the season that I turn into a farmer at heart. I get as many fresh vegetables from the farmers market as I can possibly fit in my wicker basket and then try to eat them as close to as mother Nature made them, trying to preserve their original earthy, grassy flavor. I love the fresh, healthy, herbal crunch that comes from keeping these vegetables simply themselves.
So when I saw fava beans and ramps at the market I had to get some. In Rome, where I lived for many years, they serve favas with pecorino, and it’s fun to shell the beans, shave the cheese, and munch on them outside on a patio, with a glass of white wine. I also added some mint and olive oil to round up the flavors.
I also tried mashing the beans and making crostini but I think I like them better whole.
It is so fun to shell fava beans: their shell is so soft and fuzzy, but it will make your hands a bit green.
Note: if you think the flavor of the raw favas is too intense, you can always quickly “blanch” (briefly boil in salted water then chill in ice water) then peel the outer skin.
Serve with white wine.
Fava beans with pecorino, mint, oil and ramps
1 pound of Fava beans
2-3 ramp stalks
2 ounces of Pecorino Romano (Italian sheep’s milk cheese, similar to Parmesan in texture)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
Take the fava beans out of their pods Peel the outer skins of the beans and discard the peels.
Chop the ramps in small pieces and fry them gently in a skillet with some olive oil (this will remove some of their characteristic bitterness).
Chop the mint in “chiffonade” (basically stack a few leaves, roll like a cigar then cut in thin strips) and cut the pecorino in shavings. Combine all the ingredients together, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper to taste. Buon appetito!
Note: You can also serve this on top of crostini (sliced bread slightly toasted), whole or ground.