NO, NO, don’t make me shell fava beans!!!
Well, broad beans are called fave in Italy and feves in France and mama has just picked a gazillion beans and is shelling them and plunging them into boiling water for 2 minutes and then into ice water and then draining and freezing them. But guess what? You can just shell and freeze them and when you’re ready to use them, take them out and let them thaw for 10-15 minutes and the skins will come off easily. The only thing wrong with that is that mama and papa LOVE the skins and say that that is where the flavour resides. So much for freezing beans. But mostly they are best raw, eaten with a salty cheese like pecorino, as I have mentioned before.
They are awfully pretty, no? And there is something about snapping them open and eating the raw, lovely bean that is part of springtime. At least in France and Italy. Maybe in the UK, too, where these beans are the king bean of the garden. Full of nutrients and flavour, they RULE! Mama steams them in a little salted water, and when they are tender, she tosses them with sage and garlic, toasted a bit in olive oil, and that’s the way they really are best.
I think I may have written about this, but mama once invited a sushi master to dinner and at his sushi bar, one ate wasabi, the very hot mustardy root that the sushi master grated himself and made into a little mound on the plate of sushi. When he came to dinner, mama put the fish on the plate and next to it a rather large mound of what looked like green wasabi, and I mean LARGE. Our friend took one look and politely started eating, hoping, I’m sure that he would not be expected to turn his insides to ashes with a mountain of wasabi! And then mama said, “Don’t worry–it’s fava bean puree mixed with mashed potato”, and he look incredibly relieved! Mama is like her own mama, and she loves to play tricks in the kitchen.
This amount you see above is enough for many piece of sushi!!! It’s about a spoonful. Imagine mama’s pyramid of “wasabi”…wish we had photos.
Actually, I was not there for that event or I would have taken them, but I can imagine that a hill of wasabi could knock your socks off pretty easily.
The bottom line is that it is, like chili peppers, good for the sinuses…
Well, that story wore me out…
Also shelling the fava beans.