It’s Fava Bean Season!

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Beautiful and plump fava beans are showing up all over in our produce markets. These very versatile beans are known to be the stars of the legume family and taste fantastic in salads, crostinis, pastas, risottos, stews and dips just to name a few.

Look for favas that are bright green with slightly fuzzy pods and avoid any ones that are blackened and limp.

Shucking the beans can be a little time consuming but well worth the effort once you unveil the inner glossy green bean! Here is a visual guide to show you how to do it.
Their taste has been described as a buttery texture with a nutty, slightly sweet flavor.

Methods for removing the shell vary. The most common way is to bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add the beans, cook for 1 minute, then drain and plunge them in ice water to stop the cooking process. This softens the outer shell and allows you to slit open its side and force out the beautiful glossy bean.
I have other plans for these little beauties besides this awesome Spring Salad I made which consisted of the blanched favas, defrosted peas, and blanched asparagus cut on the diagonal, all tossed with arugula and shaved fontinella cheese, you could also use parmesan or pecorino as well. The dressing was made with fresh lemon and olive oil that went perfectly with all the vegetables.

I served the salad along side this Asparagus and Ricotta Tart for a meatless meal we had during the week. I had leftover blanched asparagus from my salad so I put them to good use and made this.

I lined a 9 inch tart pan with a store bought pie dough which was fast an easy.
In a bowl mix 1 1/2 cups of ricotta
2 large eggs
1 crushed garlic clove
Zest of one lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup of grated parmesan
Whip until smooth and incorporated and then pour mixture into your pie shell.

Arrange your asparagus on top and sink them into the ricotta. I blanched the asparagus for 3 minutes in boiling water which was then plunged into ice water, thoroughly drained and patted dry. Sprinkle with more cheese and a drizzle of olive oil on top.
Bake in a 375 degree oven until crust is golden and ricotta is set.
Have a great week and Buon Appetito!
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  1. Love love fava beans and in that salad you made they look fabulous. Sometimes I use edamame beans to similar effect. That tart was a beautiful and perfect accompaniment. Your food always draws me in.

  2. Between the salad and the tart, I don’t know which I want to make first! What a great way to enjoy these spring veggies.

  3. A perfect meal. The salad is beautiful, the tart- a masterpiece!

  4. I just bought some at the farmers market.. I can’t wait to actually cook them! Yumm!!
    Happy Belated Mothers Day Marie.. I hope you were blessed.. you are an amazing woman!! xoxo

  5. That pie is just gorgeous

  6. I try to make at least one meatless meal per week. I love this one! Perfect for spring!

  7. I’ve always been a little intimidated by fava beans, but you’ve given me good reason to give them a try. That tart is gorgeous, Marie. Two more wonderful recipes! Thank you!!!

  8. I am lazy, I hate shelling the favas……I like the edamame idea that you turned me on to.
    How about some nice chianti to go with those favas?

  9. I see a lot of fava beans at my Palestinian grocer and sometimes I can’t resist grabbing a bunch! Love your tart and the salad, so pretty and colorful and tasty and tutti quanti

  10. Love this! And that tart, Beautiful! I have trouble finding fava beans in my area, but am going to a speical store this week that will hopefully carry them. Now … if I only had some Chianti …

  11. You do know I hate you right…but in a good way. The picture looks PERFECT! JUST perfect!

  12. Marie- you are totally knocking it out with these gorgeous salads you keep posting. Brava!

  13. …I’m trying that spring salad out tonight!!! Wish me luck 🙂

  14. I’m coming to your house for that meal, Marie. Love everything about it — fresh favas, ricotta tart, asparagus — I’ll bring a nice Chianti!

  15. I also love fresh fava beans!!

    It is a lot of work though but I so love the special flavour!! Your tarte with asparagus & ricotta looks delightful!!

    MMMMMMMMMMMM,…many greets from rainy Brussels!

  16. Marie I love to make both sweet and savory tarts as they look so pretty and yet are so thin they aren’t fattening. This pone is a beautiful winner! I soemtimes have a litle bit of ricotta to use up and this is such a good idea as many different cooked veggies can be used this way with it.

    My husband LOVES fava beans! I often cook them, puree them with EVOO and some grated PR cheese and serve them as a sauce over pasta.

  17. I was never a big fan of fava beans but I need to give them another try… my father has some growing in his garden as we speak, so I’ll get my chance!

  18. YAY for fava beans! Your tart is gorgeous!

  19. Fab pictures!
    love pecorino e baccelli but also garmugia it’s a spring soup that’s made in Lucca!