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  • Writer's pictureJennifer McIlvaine

A word about favas...

I got my first mosquito bite the other day, which means that spring is coming to an end, and summer is here. But I realized that I never had a chance to write anything about my favorite spring vegetable: the fava bean. The favas here in Umbria are excellent, and everyone eats them all spring. The most poplular way is just to eat them raw (in the shell) with spring pecorino - at Il Bacco Felice, Salvatore would just pass around a basket of favas from his garden still in the pods - that's the way to do it! Also, even though the favas here are about twice as big as anything I've ever seen in Seattle, they are completely tender and sweet - no wonder they don't want to cook them! We did make a fantastic spring soup with favas (unpeeled), artichokes, english peas, spring onions, and asparagus tips. When it was finished it had that classic brownish-over-cooked-italian-vegatable look, but, I have to admit that the tast was incredible! I did break down one day, and cooked and peeled all of my favas - I was making fava puree for bruschetta, inspired by my days working at the Boat Street Cafe last spring with Renee...for some reason while peeling the favas, I instantly started craving a glass of Rosé...why could that be, I wonder??? But what's missing in this picture of spring? Morels. Morels are virtually non-existant in Umbria, and its a shame because there is nothing better than favas cooked with spring garlic and morels...maybe next year...

Originally posted May 2007

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