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Bruschetta with Fava Beans, Greens, and Blood Oranges Recipe

Bruschetta with Fava Beans, Greens, and Blood Oranges Recipe


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Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups frozen double-peeled fava beans (about one 14-ounce bag), thawed, divided
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 blood oranges or navel oranges
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 6 cups mixed baby greens (about 3 ounces)
  • 18 slices sourdough or French baguette, toasted

Recipe Preparation

  • Place 1/4 cup fava beans in small bowl; reserve for salad. Combine 1 1/2 cups fava beans, 1 cup water, and garlic in large skillet. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer uncovered until fava beans are tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Drain favas, reserving cooking liquid. Transfer favas to processor; add 3 tablespoons oil and lemon juice. Puree until smooth, adding reserved cooking liquid by tablespoonfuls to moisten puree as needed. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer fava puree to another small bowl. DO AHEAD Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and chill fava puree and whole fava beans separately. Bring puree to room temperature before using.

  • Finely grate enough peel from 1 orange to measure 1 teaspoon; squeeze 2 tablespoons juice from same orange. Cut off peel and white pith from remaining 2 oranges. Working over bowl and using small sharp knife, cut between membranes to release orange segments. Whisk orange peel, 2 tablespoons orange juice, vinegar, and 3 tablespoons oil in small bowl. Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper.

  • Toss greens, orange segments, 1/4 cup favas, and vinaigrette in large bowl.

  • Spread fava bean puree on warm baguette toasts, dividing equally. Top toasts with salad and serve.

  • Frozen double-peeled fava beans are available at some specialty foods stores and at Middle Eastern markets.

Reviews Section

Spring Cooking: Fava Beans with a Nice Chianti (Or Quinoa)

Over the past few weeks we’ve examined all sorts of spring produce, from rhubarb to strawberries to artichokes to asparagus and beyond. You haven’t heard much in the way of ramps over here since the West Coast doesn’t have them. We aren’t so, um, rampant about ramps if you will, like in the Midwest or East Coast. It’s asparagus all day, every day out here. But, we do need green spring vegetable variety.

This time of year, everybody loves fava beans. Yes, fava beans have a slightly negative connotation from the famous Anthony Hopkins quote in “The Silence of the Lambs.” After a few fava bean dishes, you’ll quickly get over the need to pair fava beans with a Chianti.

Oenotri, Napa: Beets with Citrus, Wood Oven Roasted Young Fava Beans, Sunflower Sprouts, and Pistachios

Last week, I truly enjoyed a fresh, bright red quinoa salad at Forage in Silver Lake, the epicenter of fresh, bright quinoa salads in Los Angeles. The quinoa mingled with chickpeas (not seasonal), artichokes (very Spring), and yes, no shortage of shelled fava beans (very Spring).

The salad reminded me of how fava beans deserve the same fervent fan base that asparagus has. If you’ve ever been to Germany this time of year, you’ll know what I mean. Literally every single meal incorporates the precious white asparagus for three weeks in May.

What I love about fava beans is that they are softer than edamame beans, with a wonderful nutty meets sweet flavor that isn’t far off from an Oloroso Sherry.

Remember, whether you choose to eat the beans raw or cooked, not only do you have to take the beans out of the pods à la green beans, but then also take off the secondary thin white layer on each individual bean with a knife to puncture the surface, or boiling them in water for 30 seconds.

Here are four very worthwhile recipes for your fava bean pleasure at home.

My favorite vehicle for fava beans is as a purée on crisp toast bruschetta style, whether simply the beans mashed themselves with olive oil like my local café does, or joined by greens and blood oranges like in this recipe from the chef Joanne Weir.

Spring-time favorites peas, artichokes, and mint join the favas in a farfalle dish from The New York Times.

Or, be creative with the classic fava bean based Egyptian breakfast staple, Ful Medames.

Fava Beans With Some Nice Red Quinoa

The list goes on and on. Why not try fava beans in cocktails or dessert while you’re at it. Pickle the fava beans for the winter. Dehydrate the fava beans to go in a summer cocktail party nuts mix. A simpler method to use favas is purée them, then combine with some lemon juice, garlic, and sherry vinegar for a flexible sauce on the season’s fresh salmon, or the summer’s first barbeque steak.

However you enjoy your fava beans, Chianti certainly doesn’t have to be paired with them at all times.


La Tavola Marche Recipe Box

The secret is to know how to use it & what to pair it with.

Fennel can be a bit tough & fibrous with an anise flavor. It is also light, crunchy & refreshing when sliced very thin (found in many Mediterranean recipes.) We not only grow our own big bulbs of fennel but another variety of fennel grows wild along our road - the more leafy/flowery type to used as an aromatic.

Here is one of my favorite winter recipes from Jason below. Other ways to use/eat fennel: roasted (love it), braised in white wine (delicious) and the most simplistic - young fennel can be cut into chunks & dipped into olive oil & salt. (oh so Italian!)

Fennel & Blood Orange Salad

1 bulb of fennel, cut in 1/2 and remove core
2-3 blood oranges
salt & pepper
2 glugs of extra virgin olive oil

Slice fennel as thin as possible (use a food slicer or mandolin if available).
Peel & supreme the oranges. squeeze the remaining juice into a bowl.
Gently toss oranges, fennel, salt & pepper with olive oil. Add a spoonful of juice if needed.
Let stand for 5 minutes then serve.


Applications

Fava greens have an herbaceous flavor profile reminiscent of fava beans and are showcased when used fresh or lightly cooked. Young, tender leaves are best suited for fresh applications as they have a sweeter, milder flavor, and the leaves can be tossed into salads, layered onto sandwiches, or blended into a pesto. Fava greens can also be lightly heated, similar to how spinach is prepared and can be sauteed or wilted to develop a mild and delicate side dish. The cooked leaves can be incorporated into pasta, stirred into soups and stews, used as a topping over pizza, or piled on bruschetta and toast with cheeses and citrus. Fava tendrils pair well with meats such as salmon, poultry, and turkey, cheeses such as parmesan, pecorino, mozzarella, and manchego, mushrooms, peas, asparagus, citruses such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruit, nuts such as pine nuts, walnuts, and pecans, and herbs including mint, parsley, basil, thyme, and dill. The leaves should be used immediately for the best quality and flavor and will keep for 1 to 2 days when stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.


La Tavola Marche Recipe Box

1/2 liter of pure grain alcohol (you can also use grappa, vodka or everclear)
the skin of 5 organic Sicilian blood oranges (careful not to skin the orange too deep - you don't want the white pith)
1/2 kilo of sugar
1 liter of water

In a large jar with a lid, soak the orange-rind peels in the alcohol and leave in a cool dark place for about 14 days.
After it has sat for 14 days or so, filter the rinds from the alcohol. Boil the water & sugar, making a simple syrup, stirring to dissolve all the sugar in the water. Then add the orange flavored alcohol. Bottle.
I make about 10 liters of this liquor so I place 1 bottle in the freezer ready to serve and the rest in a cool dark place. Arancello, like limoncello will last a year or more in proper storage.
If the alochol is too strong of a flavor, it is also nice to serve it with a drop of heavy cream or dollop of whipped cream atop - then it is referred to as Crema di Arancello.


The Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras spent time in deep thought on the Ionian coast in Calabria, specifically in Crotone, and outside of his ideas in math and science he was known to have espoused the Pythagorean diet or what later become known as vegetarianism. The Pythagorean diet excluded meat, fish, and even beans and was tied more to religious and spiritual beliefs than pro-animal/health concerns. Hence some of the very first thinking on Vegetables in Southern Italy (Verdure).

While some Calabrians were likely vegetarians during the 5th century BCE ,the southern Italian of today does consume meat, but it still takes a back seat to the marvelous fruits and vegetables found in the Mezzogiorno (specifically, the region south of Roma, including Campania, Calabria, Sicilia, Basilicata, etc. translated as “midday”). Ancient, family owned, farms produce marvelous eggplant, blood oranges, artichokes, Femminello lemons, potatoes, tomatoes of mind-blowing varieties and colors, beans of every variety, Tropea red onions, basil, chards of numerous varieties, sweet peaches, world class figs, elegant pears, staggering varieties of berries, subtle cherries, etc. The small farms owned by our family members in Calabria, for example, have been producing potatoes, onions, fruits, tomatoes and olives for hundreds of years needless to say, the farmers in our family are vegetable and fruit experts and produce some of the best produce on the planet (with a little help from the marvelous sun and dirt of the Mezzogiorno). And the fruits and vegetables can all be found at the numerous open air markets throughout southern Italy, presented lovingly by proud vendors.

Pears from the Latella and Scordo farms in Calabria

Vegetables, specifically, are treated with tremendous respect at the southern Italian dinner table, often having their own designated course (as opposed to being piled on with the protein and starch at a typical American table). For example, when Fava beans become available during the Spring months every variation of the bean is served in order to celebrate and savor the item. Vegetables are also included as an antipasto in parts of southern Italy. For example, cannolini beans can be crushed with a mortar and pestle and infused with rosemary and buttery extra virgin olive oil and then spread on a piece of crostini. Eggplant can be lightly grilled and then stuffed with provola and baked in a layer of extra virgin olive oil. Vegetables can even finish a meal in a typical Calabrian home where fennel is used to cleanse the pallet just before espresso is served at the end of the meal.

Peas from a farmer's market in New Jersey

Wild vegetables are also treasured and consumed in great quantity in Southern Italy. Our family in Calabria, for example, forages for wild asparagus, mushrooms, dandeloin greens, nettles, herbs, and lampascione in the forest surrounding their farmland(s). Wild greens and vegetables have an intense and unique flavor profile versus their domesticated counterparts for example, the wild asparagus found just above sea level in the Bagnara Calabra region of Calabria are nothing like their meatier counterparts found at the market.

So, what are the southern Italians telling us about how to eat? Well, if you reduce the thinking above it’s simply a matter of eating more, high quality, seasonal and local vegetables. Our US based family is always hunting down the best fruit and vegetables at local markets and always eating “in season.” And while the fruits and vegetables sold in the US (though the items at farmer’s markets are getting better) are nothing like what can be found in the rural villages of southern Italy, a motivated family can find great variety and product in the US and incorporate more vegetables into their diet.

Cranberry beans from a farmer's market in New Jersey Grapes, plums, peaches, and sugar plums from an open air market in Calabria Figs from the Scordo farm in Calabria A small plot of land cultivated on the Latella farm in Calabria

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In Season: Blood Orange and Olive Oil Cake

Blood oranges are in season in California. I never know if I should eat them or just look at them. Beautifully mottled in crimson on the outside, and strikingly hued in magenta, orange and burgundy within, they are a feast for the eyes as well as the palate.

Native to Sicily, these orange gems have found their way around the world to eager consumers. In the US they grow from December to May, and now is the time to indulge in these citrus wonders. Tart and sweet with a hint of raspberry, their unique flavor complements sweet and savory dishes.

This week we have been in blood orange heaven. I received 2 brimming bags of blood oranges from a friend who has a grove of citrus trees on her property. It’s all she can do to harvest all of her fruit, and is always looking for takers. How could I say no? Aside from eating the fruit straight up and juiced, blood oranges have found their way into salads, salsas, sauces and dressings in our meals of late. Yesterday I made a Blood Orange and Olive Oil Cake, not only with the citrus from my friend’s property, but with the olive oil her family makes from their olive trees. With all this homegrown love, I immediately thought of GYO: Grow Your Own, the foodblogging event created by Andrea’s Recipes and hosted this month by House of Annie. This is my contribution: Happy Spring!

Blood Orange and Olive Oil Cake

Finely grated zest of two blood oranges
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup freshly squeezed blood orange juice
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup fruity olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 F/180 C. Butter a loaf pan. Add zest to sugar in a large bowl and mix well to incorporate. Stir in buttermilk and juice. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well with each addition. Stir in vanilla.
Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a separate bowl. Whisk into eggs. Fold in olive oil a little at a time. Pour into prepared pan. Bake until golden on top and center of a knife comes clean when inserted in the middle, about 1 hour. Remove and cool on rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely. The flavors will develop if the cake can sit for several hours or overnight.


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  • ISBN 10 0061924326
  • ISBN 13 9780061924323
  • Linked ISBNs
    • 9780061987915 Misc. format (United States) 4/1/2010

    Seasonality

    Summer

    Summer is a flamboyant time for agriculture. Everywhere you look another crop has ripened below the summer’s long light and is fluffing its tail feathers in your direction. While spring eeks out one surprise at a time, summer hits like an orchestra coming into full swing on the first note. The richness in our region is breathtaking to visitors unaccustomed to such variety, the summer feeding us so well that when it tapers down to the fall selection, we are almost ready for it. Almost.

    But not yet. Now is the time to do your happy dance for all of agriculture is your oyster. Peppers, sweet corn, Monterey Bay caught seafood, eggplant, tomatoes, farm eggs, figs, berries. Get creative, make each meal a pleasure, transform amplitude into something that will keep – blueberry preserve, jars of tomatoes, dried apricots. It’s here, now, come get your fill at the markets!


    Watch the video: SECRET BAKING SODA HACK. The Most Powerful Organic Pesticide Mixture (June 2022).