Posts Tagged ‘Fava Beans’

CSA2 Week #4

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011 by virginia

We were in Grand Cayman last Wednesday for the wedding of our friends Sean and Claire (more on that soon!) so we missed out on last week’s CSA share. No worries, the veggies didn’t go to waste as our Aussie friends L & R took our share for the week. I hope they enjoyed everything!

According to the report we got from the farm this week, the heat has caused a lot of the veggies to ripen quickly, meaning that they had to be harvested sooner than expected. While that translated into a large share for us this week, it may also mean that shares later on in the season will be smaller. I just feel bad for the farm workers who have to be in the heat all day, and we definitely appreciate their efforts.

This week our share contents included:

Garlic ScapesĀ  – .25 lbs
Cucumbers – 1.1 lbs
Red Kale – .25 lbs
Swiss Chard – .65 lbs
Dandelion – .25 lbs
Turnips – .5 lbs
Fava Beans – 1 lb
Lettuce – 1 each
Squash – 2.3 lbs
Beans – .5 lbs

Kale, squash, fava beans, turnips, lettuce, pole beans, cucumbers, dandelion, swiss chard, garlic scapes

I was happy to see that we were getting both kale and swiss chard this week, so that I wouldn’t have to choose between the two again. Sadly, we only got 1/4 pound of the kale, which isn’t very much once you account for the inedible thick stems. Hmm.. Josh is currently out of town on business.. maybe I can make kale chips for one? Just kidding – he’d be upset with me if I did that!

I was glad that we got a lot of fava beans – I’m still trying to decide if we should make more Egyptian falafel with them, or if we should try something new. I’m also not sure how to prepare the turnips, dandelions, or the pole beans. Usually we just roast the turnips, but I’d be interested in doing something different. The pole beans we typically just saute with garlic and olive oil. The dandelion greens are tough to prepare because they can be extremely bitter. I’ll need to do some recipe research!

We didn’t get enough cucumbers for me to make pickles, so I think we’ll just eat them fresh with the lettuce. Josh made a great curry vinaigrette yesterday for the red leaf lettuce we got two weeks ago (yes, it was still good!) using a recipe by Thomas Keller. He forgot to half the recipe so we still have lots of dressing left, which I think will go nicely with the young head of romaine we got this week.

The squash will either go into a ratatouille or a pureed squash soup. Both are some of my favorite recipes, and I’m glad that we always get a lot of squash each week. As for the garlic scapes, we have quite a stock pile right now. I tweaked a garlic scape pesto recipe that I liked a lot better than my first attempt at scape pesto, so I’ll need to write a post about that.

I definitely have a lot of catching up to do, post wise. I’ve got so much to write about and not enough time. I’m happy to report though that we’ve been sticking to our workout regiment. Having the CSA share has only made it easier for us to eat more healthfully, and more importantly, everything is fresh and delicious. I may finally be starting to see some results from all of our hard work!!

CSA2 Week #2

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011 by virginia

It’s Wednesday again so you know what that means – CSA day! We were back at our normal pickup location this week so I ran there after work to get our veggies before heading back out for a softball game. We got a wide variety of items in this share, and so far the crops have been looking great. This week our share contents included:

Garlic scapes – 0.4 lb
Lettuce – 1 head
Broccoli rabe – 0.5 lb
Fava beans – 0.5 lb
Greens – 1 lb
Mint – 2 oz
Cucumbers – 0.65 lb
Squash – 0.9 lb

Broccoli rabe, mint, garlic scapes, lettuce, fava beans, ruby chard, squash and cucumbers in front

Josh and I were both super excited to see broccoli rabe on the list. It’s something that we’ve never gotten before from the CSA, and we know exactly what we want to do with it. A few months ago we were at Becco, my favorite restaurant, and ordered a special appetizer of the day. It was burrata served on top of braised broccoli rabe and grilled bread, lightly dressed with olive oil and salt. The combination was heavenly. The burrata was rich and creamy and just melted across the broccoli rabe. The bread added a nice crunch, and it was a wonderful dish that we hope to replicate at home.

We were also happy to see fava beans, though we probably don’t have enough to make a batch of Egyptian style falafel. I’m sure we’ll figure out another good use for the beans though. Same with the cucumbers and squash – we didn’t get a whole lot of those but we can probably just prepare them simply and enjoy the freshness of the vegetables.

This week we didn’t have much choice for the greens, as all the boxes had swiss chard in them. There were a few different colors available but I stuck with the gorgeous ruby chard, since those looked the nicest. Josh and I made a delicious spaghetti carbonara with the ruby chard from last week’s share, which I plan on posting about. We also got another head of lettuce, red leaf this time, and more garlic scapes.

As for the mint, mojitos anyone?

Fava Bean Falafel

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011 by virginia

Josh is currently in Israel, the lucky duck, so in honor of his trip I’m going to write about the time we made falafel using the fava beans from our CSA share. Falafel is pretty popular in Israel, although the version we made was actually Egyptian falafel, called ta’amiya. While falafel is more commonly made from chickpeas, we fell in love with the fava bean ta’amiya while we were on our honeymoon in Egypt.

The fava beans we got from the CSA were still in the pods, so first we had to split the pods open and remove the beans. The beans, however, were encased in a tough, thick skin that we needed to peel off before we could eat them. These were a pain in the butt to peel and took a long time. We basically had to carefully cut through the shell without cutting too deeply into the bean itself, and then use our fingers to break the skin off. If you can get shelled fava beans, I suggest going with those!

Fava beans still encased in a thick skin

We based our recipe from this one that we found on the Food Network site. We improvised a bit because we didn’t have everything on hand, but they still turned out really well. This is what we used, which made six falafel balls:

– 1 lb fava beans still in pods
– 2 small cloves garlic
– 1 large handful parsley (we actually ran out of parsley and used carrot greens instead, which worked great and had a similar grassy flavor)
– 1 small bunch chives (we didn’t have scallions)
– 1/2 teaspoon cumin
– 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
– 1/2 teaspoon salt

We ground up the beans, garlic, chives, and greens in the food processor, then mixed in the cumin, baking powder, and salt. It should have a paste-like consistency.

Fava beans, garlic, carrot greens, chives

Josh toasted up some sesame seeds in a pan, which we used to coat the falafel balls. We also ground up a handful of the seeds with some olive oil to make a sort of tahini sauce, though it wound up being slightly too bitter. Next time I’ll just buy pre-made tahini sauce.

Toasting sesame seeds

To make the balls, I wet my hands a little and then scooped up some of the falafel mixture and rolled it into a sphere using the palms of my hands. Then I flattened it a little to make a patty shape, and then rolled it in the toasted sesame seeds. I repeated the process until I used up all of the mixture.

Falafel balls ready for deep frying

We heated up some vegetable oil in our dutch oven to fry the falafel balls. We wanted to deep fry them so we probably had about 3-4 inches of oil in the pot. While the oil was heating up, I put the falafel balls in the fridge to firm up a bit. Then I carefully dropped them in one by one into the hot oil. Once they were nicely browned, I pulled them out and put them on paper towels to drain.

Deep fried falafel balls

I cut one of the balls in half to make sure they were cooked through, and it was beautifully green and creamy in the center.

Beautiful green innards

To serve, we heated up some pita bread in the oven, then cut them in half to expose the pockets. We filled each pocket with a few falafel balls, plus chopped lettuce and tomatoes. Then we drizzled some of the homemade tahini sauce on top. It was pretty freakin’ delicious, I have to say. The falafel was really flavorful and had great texture. They were crispy on the outside and moist in the middle. We could taste the fava beans and the herbiness of the carrot greens, while the cumin bound everything together. We were extremely pleased with how these turned out.

Falafel sandwich in all its glory

Since we had oil ready for deep frying, I couldn’t resist making a batch of homemade french fries. It was easy – just cut a few potatoes into french fry shapes. You can make them as thick or as thin as you want. Fry them up in batches so they have enough room to get crispy on the outside. Drain on paper towels and season with salt and pepper immediately. Eat while they’re warm and fresh out of the oil.

Homemade french fries

I would absolutely make this falafel again, though like I said, I would buy fava beans that are already shelled. Yes, the fresh favas tasted fantastic, but I don’t know if they were worth the work. It really was a huge pain to have to shell all of them, and I just don’t have the patience. If you’ve never tried ta’amiya, definitely give this recipe a shot. It’s really easy to make (once the favas are shelled), and it’s a nice change of pace from the standard chickpea falafels. I haven’t found any restaurant yet that serves our beloved Egyptian style falafels, so if anyone has any suggestions, please let me know! But for now, I can just make them on my own and be completely satisfied.

CSA Week #8

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010 by virginia

It was a hectic CSA Wednesday for me, as Josh is currently in Las Vegas and I had a softball game right after work so I had to run out and pick up our share during the day. It was really hot out and I was a sweaty mess by the time I got back to my office, but I didn’t want to take the chance that I wouldn’t get back from the game in time to get our veggies and fruit.

This week our share did match what was sent in the email, and I was happy to see cucumbers on the list. Our vegetable contents this week included:

Squash – 2 lbs
Fava Beans – 1 lb
Carrots – 1 lb
Cucumber – 3 lbs
Eggplant – 1 each
Greens – 1/2 lb
Beets – 3 each

Cucumbers, fava beans, carrots, eggplant, kale, beets, squash

The greens this week was kale once again, and I look forward to making more kale chips. I also plan on making ratatouille with the squash and eggplant, something that I’ve never tried before. And of course, braised cucumbers, because I want to see what all the fuss is about!

We got lots of fruit this week as well, and our fridge is just bursting at the seams right now. We’ve actually found a great use for most of the plums we’ve been getting, making a really wonderful plum salsa that I’ll be posting about. This week our fruit share included:

Shiro Plums – 1 1/2 lbs
Apricots – 1 quart
Blueberries – 2 pints

Shiro plums, blueberries, apricots

I don’t know the difference between Shiro plums and sugar plums, since they look very similar. Maybe they taste different? We’ll see. And two pints of blueberries doesn’t sound like a lot but I feel like we have an abundance of them right now. Josh wants me to bake a pie so maybe I’ll consider doing that, or just making a big batch of blueberry pancakes. The possibilities are endless!

CSA Week #7

Friday, July 23rd, 2010 by virginia

No, I didn’t forget about CSA Wednesday. Due to a previous commitment for the church where we pick up our shares, this week our distribution was moved to Thursday. I was super excited when we got the email this morning that listed our share contents, as there were lots of new vegetables for us to try. Much to our dismay, however, when we went to get our share, three items were missing – basil, cucumbers, and purslane. We’re not really sure why those items weren’t delivered, and while our share was still pretty robust, I had already been thinking about the basil pesto I wanted to make, and I was looking forward to trying braised cucumbers, the highly touted Julia Child recipe.

Oh well. We did get some things that weren’t on the emailed list, like lettuce and greens, so I guess it works out in the end. Our share contents this week included:

Squash – 3 lbs
Fava Beans – 1 lb
Carrots – 5 each
Turnips – 4 each
String Beans – 1lb
Lettuce – 1 head
Greens – 1/2 lb

Turnips, string beans, lettuce, greens, fava beans, carrots, squash

For the lettuce, it looked like we had a choice between green leaf and Boston lettuce. Because we’ve already tried the green leaf lettuce before, we chose the Boston even though the heads were tiny. The greens turned out to be kale, which means we can make kale chips again! For the squash, there were lots of different varieties so we picked up a standard yellow one, a smaller, round yellow one, and a large, pear shaped pale green one.

Our fruit share this week was the best one yet, with several different items. The contents included:

Sugar Plums – 1 quart
Apricots – 1 quart
Red Plums – 1 pint

Sugar plums, apricots, and red plums in front

The apricots look gorgeous, and I really liked the sugar plums from last week, though the skin is a bit tart. Josh made a lovely salsa with it that I’ll be posting about. Unfortunately, Josh will be on the road for work the next two weeks, which makes it tough for me to enjoy our bounty. I don’t want him to feel like he’s missing out, but then again, he’s going to have a lot of access to great restaurants while he’s away so I’m the one who’s going to end up feeling jealous. I’ll just have to figure out some really awesome things to make so that maybe he’ll have incentive to travel less!

CSA Week #6

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010 by virginia

It’s been yet another hot week and according to the farm reports we get from our CSA, the weather hasn’t been so great for the crops or the farm workers. Our share this week was larger than last week but I wonder what the long term ramifications are of the unbearable heat. The contents this week included:

Lettuce – 1 head red leaf
Basil – 2 oz
Fava Beans – 1 1/4 lbs
Radishes – 4 each
Greens – 3/4 lb
Squash – 1 3/4 lbs
Pole Beans – 1/2 lb

Fava beans, greens, basil, red leaf lettuce, squash, pole beans, radishes in the middle

Unfortunately we haven’t had the chance to cook a lot of veggies recently so we still have tons of stuff left over from last week. A neat little trick I’ve discovered is that if you soak a lot of the veggies in cold water, they’ll perk right back up. This especially works well with limp lettuce. Just chop them up and soak, and they’ll be as good as new.

With regard to our fruit share, we’re overwhelmed with cherries! This week was a smaller batch at least, but we still have tons in our fridge. We’ve been snacking on them left and right but can’t seem to eat them quickly enough. Our fruit share this week included:

Sugar Plums – 1 quart
Cherries – 1 pint

Sugar plums and cherries

I’ve never seen sugar plums before but I hope they’re sweeter than regular plums. They’ve got a lovely yellow color and feel soft to the touch. I’ll let you know how they are when I get around to tasting them!

CSA Week #5

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010 by virginia

It’s CSA Wednesday again! I ran home during the day to pick up the share because I had a softball game after work, and boy, is it hot out. Unfortunately the hot weather has not been good for the crops, and our share this week was the smallest that we’ve had so far. I’m not too concerned because we still have stuff left from last week, plus Josh is traveling so I haven’t been eating our veggies (otherwise he might get jealous). Our share contents this week included:

Lettuce – 1 head green leaf
Radishes – 4 each
Squash – 1lb
Onions – 4 each
Peas – 1/2 lb
Fava Beans – 1lb each

The peas and the beans will be interesting to cook with, since we don’t eat too much of either, but I’m really interested to taste freshly shelled peas/beans.

Peas, white and red onions, green leaf lettuce, squash, radishes, fava beans

Our fruit share also included less fruit, though we did get a strawberry rhubarb jam, which should be interesting:

Cherries – 1 quart
Jam – 1 pint
Juice – 1 pint

Cherries, strawberry rhubarb jam, blackcurrant apple juice

A new juice this week as well, blackcurrant apple this time. Still sad that it’s the smaller bottle, since the first week was more than double the size. The cherries this week are a different variety from the last two weeks, and hopefully they’ll be a bit sweeter. Still more recipes to come!