Bean by Bean

April 24, 2015

It snowed yesterday.  And I woke this morning to these dispiriting words: "Snow will start in 55 minutes." I'd like to point out that it's the end of April!

In search of spring, I picked up a pound of fava beans.  I have a serious love/hate relationship with this particular vegetable. I'm always cheered by their tender green color, and their lively brightness seems flavored with optimism. But I find the tedium of peeling each little bean really annoying.

Back home, I put about a pound and a half of Yukon Gold potatoes on to boil. Removing the favas from their pods, I threw the beans, briefly, into the potato water, poaching them for a mere 45 seconds. Then I fished them out and stood at the counter, plucking each little bean from its shell. 

When I was done I diced a small shallot and sauteed it in a few tablespoons of butter. I sprinkled in some salt, tossed in the peeled fava beans and worried them around for three minutes or so. Then I smashed them with the back of a spoon.

The potatoes took about 12 minutes to get soft; at that point I added a few tablespoons of butter and a splash of milk and smashed them into a puree. I added a beaten egg, and a few gratings of lemon zest. Then I folded in the fava beans.

I happened to have some ricotta on hand, so I threw in a couple tablespoons of that as well. 

With a salad on the side it made a really heartening little lunch for two.  Each spoonful felt like a promise that spring really will come.  Soon please. 


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