Monday, May 16, 2011

Recipes: Fava beans, a stew and more

Here are some of our favorite new recipes. Enjoy!

Fava Bean Puree
Adapted from Alice Waters
½ cup olive oil
4 pounds fava beans
4 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
A sprig of fresh rosemary, thyme, or tarragon, or another herb of your choice
½ cup water
Salt and pepper
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Lemon juice and grated zest, optional

To prepare the fava beans for cooking, remove them from their pods. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, and fill a large bowl with ice water. Blanch the beans in the boiling water for one to two minutes, until they slip fairly readily from their skins. Transfer the beans with a skimmer or slotted spoon to the ice water. When they’re cool, drain the water and remove the beans from their skins.

To make the puree, heat the ½ cup of olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the shelled, skinned beans, garlic, herbs, water, and a good couple of pinches of salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beans are very tender (about 15 minutes), adjusting the heat as necessary to prevent burning, and adding more water if necessary. Remove the pot from the heat, and remove the herb sprig.  Mash the beans with the back of a spoon or pass the mixture through a food mill. Stir in the ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil and a bit of water if necessary to achieve a nice, thick but spreadable consistency, along with a squeeze of lemon juice and a bit of grated zest, if desired. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with toasted baguette slices.

Organic Vegan French Peasant Stew
1¼ cups organic chickpeas, presoaked overnight
3½ cups water
4 bay leaves
1 strip dulse
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves organic garlic, sliced
1 large organic onion (at least 1 cup), sliced
2 organic carrots (1½ cups)
1 small organic cauliflower (3 cups), cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tablespoon dried basil
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon cardamom
¼ teaspoon dried cloves
¼ teaspoon sea salt

Drain and rinse beans well. Simmer beans, water, dulse, and bay leaves for about 30 minutes, until the beans begin to soften. Sauté garlic, onions, cauliflower, and carrots in olive oil for 5 minutes. Season with basil, cardamom, cloves, salt, and pepper.

1. Change the nationality of the stew by changing the seasoning. For instance, add curry powder, garam marsala, cinnamon, and cardamom for an Indian accent.
2. Leave out the cauliflower, or otherwise vary the vegetables. Try some potatoes and peppers.
3. Change the beans to kidney or pinto. Switch the herbs and spices to garlic, oregano, pepper, basil, cumin, and chili powder for a Mexican chili.

Asparagus Frittata
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound asparagus, tough ends snapped off, spears cut diagonally into 1-inch lengths
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese

1. Heat olive oil into a 10-inch oven-proof frying pan over medium high heat. Add onions and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened, about 3 minutes. Add asparagus, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, covered, until the asparagus are barely tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Pour in eggs and cook until almost set, but still runny on top, about 2 minutes. While cooking, pre-heat oven broiler.

Stuffed Artichokes
6 whole artichokes
3 slices Italian bread, cubed
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
5 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
salt and pepper to taste

1. Snip the pointed tips of artichoke leaves, and cut off the stems. Wash and drain. Holding artichoke firmly by base, firmly rap the top of it on a hard surface; this will open it so it can be stuffed.
2. In a medium bowl combine bread cubes, garlic, parsley, Romano cheese, oregano, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, salt and pepper; mix well.
3. Press about 1/2 cup of stuffing into each artichoke. Tightly pack stuffed artichokes together in a large heavy saucepan or Dutch oven. Add enough water to reach half way up artichokes and add 3 tablespoons oil.
4. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 1 hour, or until leaves pull out easily.

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