A couple weeks ago I ventured to a relatively new farmer’s market close to my house. I had been hearing about how it had wonderful prepared foods along with gourmet items not seen at the other farmer’s markets in the area. Of course, I had to check it out. Indeed it was a wonderful new market. From handmade unique jams to exotic spices to local bakeries, the selections were vast.
Along with the gourmet goodies, were the standard fresh fruits and vegetables. I was surprised to see a vendor who was still featuring fresh fava beans. With these little delights being a favorite of mine, I quickly grabbed a bag and loaded it up. I was inspired by this recipe from Jean of Lemon and Anchovies back in July and made this recipe. I must admit that it was so good, I made a slightly different version and wanted to share with all of you.
If fava beans are not where in sight where you live, try edamame or cannellini beans to duplicate the dish. It is a satisfying combination of flavors that will delight any palate.
Sautéed Fava Beans and Pancetta
2 Cups Fava Beans
4 oz. Pancetta, small dice
6 Garlic cloves, minced
8 Sage leaves, sliced thin
Salt and pepper
Cook the pancetta in a medium skillet with about one tablespoon of olive oil. Cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat until crispy. Remove from pan and let drain on paper towels.
In medium skillet, add about ¼ cup of olive oil and the minced garlic over medium heat. Cook for about two minutes and being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the fava beans and sage leaves. Cook for about 3 or 4 minutes and then add the cooked pancetta. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately and garnish with fresh shaved parmesan cheese.
Fava Bean Preparation:
To shuck the beans, simply break off one end of the pod and use your thumb to pry it open. Pop the beans into a bowl and make a pile of pods. The easiest way to peel the beans is to parboil them first. To do so, bring a large stockpot filled with water to a rolling boil. Add the beans and let them cook until they turn bright green. About one minute. Then remove the pan from the stove and drain the beans into a colander. Run the beans under cold water for a minute or so to stop them from cooking any further.
Next, you need to remove the skin surrounding each bean. Use a knife or your fingernail to make a slit in the seam at one end of the bean and then squeeze the bean out. It should pop right out of the skin. Once you've peeled the beans, they are ready to use in any recipe.