Finding and using 
locally produced food
Visit our Bookstore

Nesco American Harvest Food Dehydrator

more kitchen wares

Vintage California Cuisine: 300 Recipes from the First Cookbooks Published in the Golden State



Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

By Marcella Hazan
RECIPE: Braised Carrots

The Tra Vigne Cookbook: Seasons in Califonria Wine Country

By Michael Chiarello


Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America's Farmers' Markets







































Nine Ways to Use Fava Beans

Fresh fava beans are a fleeting seasonal treat. They're readily available for at most a few months each spring. They are also, without a doubt, a labor intensive treat since they must first be removed from their outer pod and then, unless they are very small and tender, slipped out of the tough skin that enwraps each bean. If that's too much trouble for you, you can leave the shelled beans inside the skin, saute them in some olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, and let each diner perform the final extraction of bean from skin with fingers and teeth.

If you want to use fava beans in any of the recipes below, you'll have to shell and skin them first. The easiest way to skin them is to blanch them in boiling water for a few minutes, then slit the skin with a knife or your thumb nail, and squeeze gently to slip the bean out.

Fava Beans, Roman Style
Roasted Garlic-Fava Bean Sauce
Catalan Bean Stew
Moroccan Fava Bean Stew
Scafata (Umbrian Fava Bean Stew)
Pasta with Fresh Fava Bean Sauce
Young Root-Vegetable Braise

Melange of Artichokes, Fava Beans
    and Green Garlic
Saute of Fresh Fava Beans, Onions, and Fennel

In addition to these recipes, here are two others, for fava bean dip and fava bean relish.

Fava Beans, Roman Style

Pancetta, one half-inch thick slice
3 pounds unshelled young fresh fava beans
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup water
Black pepper, freshly ground

1. Cut the pancetta into ¼-inch wide ribbons.

2. Shell the beans and wash in cold water.

3. Cook the onion in the oil until it becomes translucent, then add the pancetta strips and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes. Stir in beans and pepper. Add water and simmer, covered, on low heat for 8 to 10 minutes if the beans are young and tender, or up to 15 minutes if the beans are larger and tougher. Add extra tablespoons of water if necessary. When the beans are tender, add salt, and cook for a few more minutes uncovered until the last of the water has evaporated.

Source: Adapted from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, by Marcella Hazan

Roasted Garlic-Fava Bean Sauce

8 cup home-made chicken stock
1 garlic head roasted, cloves squeezed into a bowl
2 tablespoons cold butter cut into tablespoons
1 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
Salt to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
½ to 1 cup cooked fava beans

1. Place stock and roasted garlic in a medium saucepan and reduce to 3 cups. Strain into a clean saucepan and bring to a simmer. 

2. Whisk in the butter and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the fava beans (from 1/2 to 1 cup, depending on desired consistency) and cook for 1 minute. 

3. Serve with roasted chicken or other meat, or over rice or polenta.

Source: adapted from recipe by Bobby Flay

Catalan Bean Stew

2 dried red or brown chiles, such as pasilla or New Mexican reds, or 1 tablespoon Spanish or Hungarian sweet paprika
6 cups vegetable broth
2 medium onion, peeled and quartered
4 ripe tomatoes
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 slices country-style white bread
3 parsnips or carrots, diced
1 potato, peeled and diced
1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
4 cups cooked fava beans or lima beans
1 cup cooked corn kernels
2 tablespoons sherry wine or to taste
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or to taste
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Tear the chiles in half and remove the stems and seeds. Soak the chiles in the stock for 1 hour or until soft. If using paprika, dissolve it in the stock. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Place the onions and tomatoes on a baking sheet lined with foil and roast them for 20 minutes. Add the garlic and continue roasting for 20 minutes, or until the garlic is soft and the onions are golden brown. Darkly toast the bread in a toaster.
3. Transfer the chiles to a blender with a slotted spoon, reserving the stock. Add the onions, tomatoes, garlic, and toast and puree until smooth, adding stock as necessary to obtain a thick paste. Note: A blender works better than a food processor for this purpose.

4. Transfer the chile mixture to a large, nonstick frying pan and cook over medium heat, stirring often, for 3 minutes or until fragrant. Stir in the reserved stock, parsnips, and potatoes and half the parsley and cook, uncovered, stirring often, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are just tender. The recipe can be prepared ahead to this stage.

5. Stir in the fava beans, corn, sherry, and vinegar and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the beans and corn are thoroughly heated. Correct the seasoning, adding salt, sherry, or vinegar to taste. The mixture should be highly seasoned. If the stew is too thick, add a little more stock. If too thin, simmer the stew, uncovered, to evaporate the excess liquid.

6. Transfer the stew to a bowl or platter and sprinkle with the remaining parsley. Rice or polenta would make a nice accompaniment.

Source: Adapted from The Tra Vigne Cookbook, by Michael Chiarello

Moroccan Fava Bean Stew

1 large onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 tomato, cored and diced
3 or 4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups water
2 cups diced pumpkin or butternut or acorn squash
1 cup cooked small fava or cranberry beans, drained
1 cup cooked or canned chick peas, drained
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons harissa (Moroccan chile paste)
1 cup couscous

1. Saute onions and bell pepper in 2 tablespoons water for about 5 minutes.Add tomato and garlic and cook for 4 minutes more.  

2. Stir in the remaining ingredients (except couscous) and cook for 30 minutes over medium heat until the squash is tender. Stir occasionally.

2. Stir in the couscous, cover and let sit for 10 minutes.

Source: Lean Bean Cuisine, by Jay Solomon

Pasta with Fresh Fava Bean Sauce

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
1-1/2 cups chicken stock
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups cooked, peeled fava beans
3/4 pound dried fettuccine
pecorino or Parmesan cheese

1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan . Add the garlic and saute until light brown. Stir in the oregano, then add 1 cup of the stock. Bring to a boil, season with salt and pepper, and add 1-1/2 cups of the fava beans. Simmer for a few minutes to blend the flavors.

2. Scrape into a blender and puree with the remaining 1/2 cup stock until smooth. Return the sauce to the pan and add the remaining 1/2 cup favas. Simmer gently and taste for seasoning. Add salt and especially pepper.

3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta al dente. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Pour the pasta into a warm serving bowl and add the sauce. Toss well and thin with the pasta water, if necessary, until the sauce is glossy and not sticky. Serve immediately. Grate the cheese over the top at the table.

Adapted from The Tra Vigne Cookbook, by Michael Chiarello

Scafata (Umbrian Fava Bean Stew)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup shelled fava beans
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped fennel
1 1/2 cups chopped chard leaves
1 1/2 cups chopped, peeled tomatoes
salt, pepper

1. Cook oil, beans, onion, fennel, carrot and chard over low heat in medium saucepan. 

2. When beans are quite tender, after about 45 minutes, add tomatoes and cook for another 25 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Source: La Cucina Delle Regioni D'Italia: Umbria, by Antonella Santolini

Young Root-Vegetable Braise

Sea salt
12 small turnips, peeled, stems trimmed to one-half inch
1 bunch radishes, stems trimmed to one-half inch
6 small carrots (3 to 4 inches long), peeled, stems trimmed to one-half inch
1 pound fava beans, shucked
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1bunch green onions, trimmed (use 2 to 3 inches of white and pale green part only) and sliced lengthwise
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped tarragon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat, adding 1 tablespoon of salt per quart of water. Slice the turnips and radishes in half if large; leave the smaller ones whole.

2. Blanch the turnips, radishes and carrots for 5 minutes, less if smaller, then lift them out of the simmering water and plunge them into an ice water bath. Drain, pat dry and set aside.

3. Bring the water back to a boil and add the fava beans; blanch 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in the ice water bath. Reserve the cooking water. Pop the fava beans out of their skins and reserve the beans.

4. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a 10-inch sauté pan. Add the green onions and cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add one-half cup of the vegetable cooking water, the blanched vegetables, half of the parsley and tarragon and one-fourth teaspoon salt. Simmer until the vegetables are fully tender, about 10 minutes or until done. Add one-fourth cup cooking water as needed to maintain a small amount of sauce in the pan.

5. Add the fava beans, remaining butter and lemon juice. Increase the heat and swirl the pan back and forth until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat, add the rest of the parsley and tarragon, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Source: Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating From America's Farmers Markets, by Deborah Madison

Melange of Artichokes, Fava Beans
and Green Garlic

Juice of 1 lemon, or 1 tablespoon vinegar
16 very small artichokes (about 2 ounces each), or 6 medium
2 to 2 1/2 pounds young fava beans (about 2 cups shelled)
1/2 cup olive oil
6 to 8 green garlic stalks, cut into 2-inch lengths
2 tablespoons chopped fresh winter savory
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Fill a large bowl with water and add the lemon juice or vinegar.

2. Trim the stem end and cut off the top 1 to 1 1/2 inches of each artichoke, depending upon size.  Peel away and discard the outer dark-green leaves until you reach the pale-yellow, tender inner leaves.  Cut the artichokes in half, from stem to top, and remove any bits of furry choke.  Cut the halves in half again lengthwise; drop the pieces into the water.

3. Shell the fava beans.  Because some people are allergic to the skins of the fava beans and because they are somewhat tough, you may want to peel the skins away, too.  They are easily popped off by slitting the skin with the tip of a sharp knife or your thumbnail.

4. Heat the olive oil in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat.

5. Drain the artichoke pieces and dry them.  Add them to the pan and saute for 3 or 4 minutes.  Add the fava beans and the garlic and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.  The artichokes will begin to change color to deep olive green; the favas, if peeled, will be bright green.  Add the fresh herbs and the salt and pepper.  Stir well, reduce heat to very low, cover and simmer until the artichokes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

Source: Food Down Under

Saute of Fresh Fava Beans, 
Onions, and Fennel

3 lb fresh fava beans shelled
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 fresh fennel bulb trimmed, sliced
1 teaspoon fennel seeds coarsely ground with a spice grinder
1 1/3 cup canned low-salt chicken broth more or less
4 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup chopped pancetta
1/2 teaspoon dried savory
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper to taste

1.Cook fava beans in boiling salted water 2 minutes. Drain, cool and peel outer skins.

2. Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and fennel bulb; saute 5 minutes. Add favas or lima beans and fennel seeds; saute 3 minutes. Add 1 cup broth and 2 tablespoons dill; bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes to blend flavors.

3. Stir in pancetta and savory, adding more broth if mixture is dry. Simmer until favas are tender, about 15 minutes longer.

4. Mix in lemon juice and 2 tablespoons dill. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

Copyright 2006 Seasonal Chef