In the Kitchen with Sigona’s Featuring: Fresh, Local Fava Beans

Shelling & Preparing Fresh Fava Bean

  • Shell the beans by opening the pod at the seam (if you snap off the end it’s easier to split along the seam).
  • Remove beans from the pod.
  • Add shelled beans to a few cups of boiling water and cook for 4-5 minutes. Drain and plunge beans into an ice bath. Drain from ice bath when cool enough to touch.
  • Remove the tough outer skins from beans by gently pinching the bean and sliding the bean out of the skin. Discard skins.

 

Fava Bean Bruschetta with Red Fresno Pepper and Pecorino

Once you have the fava beans out of their pods, boiled and shelled, this recipe comes together in a matter of minutes. It’s great as a crowd pleaser and is just as perfect when simply paired with a glass of wine for those moments you finally get to catch up on your DVR’d favs. Check out the video below to see how easy it comes together. Recipe by Carmelo Sigona. Watch him cook this dish on our YouTube channel!

For the topping:

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked & shelled fava beans, about 3 lbs.. of in-pod beans (see note below for shelling and prepping)
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon Juice
  • 2 Tbsp. Sigona’s Fresh Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, crushed and sautéed just slightly in 1 tsp. Sigona’s olive oil, about 30 seconds
  • 2 Tbsp. broth, chicken or vegetable
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 sweet baguette

Garnish:

  • 1/2 a Red Fresno pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 1/3 cup micro greens
  • Freshly grated Pecorino cheese
  • Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Shelling & Preparing Fresh Fava Beans

  • Open pod at the seam (if you snap off the end it’s easier to split along the seam) and remove beans from the pod.
  • Add beans to boiling water and cook for 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Drain and plunge beans into an ice bath. Drain from ice bath when cool enough to touch.
  • Remove the tough outer skins from beans by gently pinching the bean and sliding the bean out of the skin. Discard skins.

Directions for the spread: Shell favas from their large pods and place in boiling water for 4-6 minutes. Remove and let cool down or place into an ice bath. Remove inner bean from its outer layer and discard outer layer.

Place all ingredients in a blender, season and blend. Check seasoning, adjust as necessary.

Directions for the bread: For the bread I like using a sweet baguette – prepare at least 8 slices or more, cut on the diagonal.

Brush both sides of the bread with olive oil. You can put these in the oven to broil but I recommend using a stovetop grill. Grill both sides just slightly on a medium high heat, just about 1 min per side. This makes the bread crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside…perfect for your bruschetta. Remove from the grill and season with a bit of salt.

Plate & Serve: Spread a bit of the fava mix on each bread slice. Garnish with freshly grated Pecorino cheese, a little finely chopped Red Fresno pepper and a pinch of micro greens. Complete plating with a light drizzle of oil.

 

Chicken Thighs and Fava Beans with Saffron Couscous

The longest part about preparing this dish is getting the favas ready – but you can do that while you watch TV…or have the kids do it for you! Recipe adapted from La Cucina Italiana magazine.  Serves 4.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Sigona’s Fresh Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/4-inch cubes
  • Ancient sea salt and black pepper
  • Flour, for dredging
  • 1 1/4 cups shelled fresh fava beans, about 2 1/8 lbs. in pods (see note below about shelling and prepping favas)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth, divided
  • Scant 1/2 tsp. coarsely crumbled saffron threads
  • 1 cup couscous

 

Shelling & Preparing Fresh Fava Beans

  • Open pod at the seam (if you snap off the end it’s easier to split along the seam) and remove beans from the pod.
  • Add beans to boiling water and cook for 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Drain and plunge beans into an ice bath. Drain from ice bath when cool enough to touch.
  • Remove the tough outer skins from beans by gently pinching the bean and sliding the bean out of the skin. Discard skins.

Directions: In a large skillet with lid, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add shallot, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 to 8 minutes. Meanwhile, pat chicken dry and season with about 1/2 teaspoons salt and some pepper. Dredge in flour, knocking off excess.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer shallot to a small bowl. Add chicken to pan, a few pieces at a time; lightly brown chicken, 2 minutes. Return shallot and any chicken that was rotated out to the pan; add favas and 1/2 cup broth. Reduce heat to medium-low. Gently simmer, covered, until chicken is cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes, then remove from heat. Adjust seasoning; cover to keep warm.

For the couscous: In a medium saucepan, combine remaining tablespoons oil, remaining 1 1/2 cups broth, saffron and generous pinch salt; bring just to a boil, then stir in couscous. Cover and remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Serve chicken and favas over couscous.

 

Fresh, Local Fava Beans & Crispy Pancetta Salad with a Pea, Pecorino & Mint Dressing

Luisa Ormonde of Luisa’s Catering and a Sigonas Preferred Customer, submitted the following recipe for this really simple yet tasty dish for fava beans that she spices up with peas, almonds, pancetta and more. Luisa likes to use young peas and favas when theyre in season; if you cant find them, she suggests using edamame instead.

Luisa’s salad featuring fava beans and fresh peas

Ingredients:

  • 4 lbs. fava beans, in their pods (makes about 4 cups peeled beans)
  • 2 cups fresh English peas
  • 6 slices pancetta, chopped (or you can use 8 slices of applewood-smoked bacon)
  • A handful of slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1/2 cup mixture of both Pecorino and Parmesan cheese, grated
  • A handful of fresh mint, leaves picked
  • 8 Tbsp. Sigona’s Fresh Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Juice of 1 or 2 lemons
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions: To prepare the beans, first prepare an ice bath in a medium bowl. Set aside. Bring a few cups of water to a boil and add shelled peas and fava beans for 2 minutes. Drain and plunge boiled beans into the ice bath. Once cool to the touch, drain. Remove the outer skin of the fava beans by gently pinch the bean and slide out of the skin. Discard the skin. The peas are fine as is.

Place bacon on a baking tray, with the almonds spread out next to it. Place in a 475 degree oven, keeping an eye on the almonds to make sure they don’t color too much. The bacon should crisp in the same amount of time needed to toast the almonds, but simply remove one or the other if it is getting too far ahead.

To the bowl of beans and peas, add olive oil and 4-5 TBL of lemon juice, to taste. Add cheese and mint. Toss and season to taste − it should have an amazing flavor of sweet peas, tangy lemon, fragrant mint and a softness and roundness from the cheese. A balance is good, but you should also trust your own personal judgment.

Divide on plates. Sprinkle the bacon over and serve.

 

 

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