pasta, spring garlic, fava shoots, coriander seed, parmesan

I really love fava beans, but no matter how many I buy, it seems I always end up with only a few spoonfuls of the treat itself once I’ve removed the inedible parts.  An article in bon appétit even includes them in their list of ‘jerk vegetables’, where they’re concerned only with the amount of work they require to prepare, not the cost of purchasing a number large enough to be appreciated. In any event, their suggestion for dealing with the problem (just buy fewer fava beans) holds no attraction for me.

Since I discovered the fava bean shoot a few years ago, I almost never go back to the bean itself, because these treasures (which look a bit like giant clover leaves, how sweet is that?) offer everything the beans do, except for the texture.

I used a few handfuls of the greens in a simple meal last night. I’ve prepared them as a side vegetable and incorporated them in pasta dishes in the past, but this may be the first time I’ve wilted them for a pasta as I would other greens, and not just tossed a smaller amount into the mix at the end. The result, seen in the image at the top, looks very different this time, but it was at least as delicious as ever.

  • a few loose handfuls of fava shoots from Keith’s farm, newly-returned-to-the-Greenmarket on Saturday, washed, drained, and gradually added to a large antique copper pot in which one large green or spring ‘Magic garlic’ from Windfall Farms had already been heated and softened a bit before about a quarter teaspoon of slightly crushed whole Moroccan coriander seeds from Flatiron Eataly were added, plus freshly-ground black pepper to taste, the fava greens stirred and allowed to wilt only slightly before stirring in some lemon zest (from half of one Chelsea Whole Foods Market organic lemon) and a little lemon juice, then 8 or 9 ounces of cooked and drained Afeltra 100% grano italiano spaghetti, produced in Gragnano, from Eataly Flatiron, added and stirred over a medium-high flame with a full cup of the reserved pasta cooking water, until the liquid had emulsified, the pasta then arranged inside shallow bowls and finished with olive oil drizzled around the edges, a bit of Parmigiano Reggiano (aged 24 months) from Whole Foods grated on top
  • the wine was an Italian (Sicilian) white, Planeta – La Segreta White 2017, from 67Wine
  • the music was the album, ‘Laurence Crane: 6 Trios 2 Solos & 1 Quintet’, by the Ives Ensemble (and another after dinner