spring fava beans with pesto & brown rice spirals

every time i think about what to cook in the spring time (yipee! loooonger days, warmer days, brighter days, and…more fresh local produce days) i seem to think greeeen food! right now there’s nothing that makes my mouth water more than minimally processed fresh green produce in our meals. that’s why when i came across the beautifully glistening fava (broad) beans at the market yesterday i couldn’t wait to add them to our dinner menu. these beans were particularly tender, so i decided to boil the larger ones in their skins as an appetizer served with lime and angelica seeds, and use the smaller ones in a quick and easy brown rice pasta dressed with home made lemony pesto (the basil is looking/tasting amazing at the moment). the trick to double peeling these beans (relatively) easily is to remove them from the outer skin (or pod) and quickly boil them in water for just a few quick minutes (5-7) before popping them out of their inner skins by pressing lightly on one end. i’m not sure about you, but i find these types of tasks oddly relaxing and get through them rather quickly (alternately you can purchase double peeled frozen fava beans at most middle eastern markets). having tasted (and consumed way more than intended) the dish last night, i urge you to make some before the season is over-it will be sure to please your taste buds!

ingredients for 2-3 servings:

  • about 1/2 cup double peeled quickly boiled (5-7 minutes, see above) fava beans
  • 1-2 zucchinis, finely cubed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 small bunch fresh basil leaves (thinly sliced-chiffonade)
  • 1-2 tbs home made lemony pesto (see recipe)
  • 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 tbs creme fraiche or cream
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 cup or so brown rice pasta, cooked per package instructions
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese
1. prepare the fava beans (peel out of outer pod, then quickly boil and peel again) and set aside. heat 1 tbs olive oil in a saucepan, then add the cubed zucchinis and garlic with salt and pepper, stir fry for about 5-7 minutes until tender. at the same time boil salted water and start cooking brown rice spirals.
2. add cooked & peeled fava beans to the tender zucchinis and stir fry together (stirring gently) for about 2 minutes, then add the pesto sauce and combine well for about a minute or two.
3. add the cream and remove from the heat after stirring everything together carefully for a minute. add the basil chiffonade, stir again. drain the cooked pasta and add to the sauce. stir carefully together and serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese. bon appetit!
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