Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Fava beans (and what you can do with them)

In July, my good friend Dagfinn Skoglund arrived to our summer home as a culinary Santa Clause, with a bag full of goodies. In his culinary treasure collection were the most lovely crunchy fava beans from his local Turkish green grocer, turned into the most mouthwatering meal.

Dagfinn often roams the local delicatessen close to his downtown studio apartment. This meant that the culinary shopping bag in question looked like one brought back after a visit to your Mediterranean market.

Fresh fava beans is certainly something to try if you find it in your local green grocer. I have no experience with this ingredient, but believe me - Dagfinn's meal opened up my eyes to this delicious vegetable.

As I usually make my own food, I love to leave my kitchen in the hands of others. There are, however, only few that I feel can really tickle my taste buds - but Dagfinn is certainly one of them.

He brought lamb shanks, a succulent cut of meat that needs real TLC to be turned deliciously tender. But first we had to get the freshly green beads out of their shell and prepare them for cooking. He asked from my assistance.

I had never prepared fava beans before. They are encapsulated in large freshly green husks, and when opening them up, you find the beans lined up as pearls in a necklace. Pluck them out and prepare them for cooking.

He told that some remove the outer skin of the beans, but Dagfinn decided not to. After the plucking, he chased me out of my kitchen and started preparing the food, while leaving me excited and idle.

What went into the dish, except the lamb shanks and beans? I do not know exactly. As he, like me, is an unpredictable cook, preparing food using intuition rather than fixed recipes.

From the colour and taste of the dish I know that he used tomato puré, garlic, onion, and a stock cube or two for improved taste. He added the beans at a point of time to allow them to be tender but "al dente", i.e. providing your teeth with a proper crunchy bite.

The result - another delicious treat from this experienced culinary wizard!!

  • Top - Broad beans, shelled and lightly cooked: Richard W. Jones
  • Middle - Broad beans in the pod: MPF
More food from beans

Try this bean soup with chicken

More of Dagfinn's Magic!

African lamb stew with mashed potatoes á la Dagfinn Skoglund

See Dagfinn's article on Madeira here

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