Bean Counting

Img_7255_3Fava beans, that is. We bought a bunch at our neighborhood farmer’s market this weekend for $1.50 a pound. It was comparison shopping of sorts, my wife having bought a some frozen favas at Whole Foods the week prior. She’d thawed those and used them to make a tasty fava and mint puree that she served on crostini with shaved pecorino at a recent party. Frozen favas are convenience food, as and in most cases have the diminished flavor and increased price of such stuff (tho admittedly the mint, cheese, and seasoning did much to elevate the frozen favas). But with the fresh favas, it was event. We shelled them as a family and even turned it into a counting game. In a mere (and convivial, i might add) 15 minutes, we’d shelled the lot and, at 5.5 year old Violet’s prompting, counted them all. All 145 of them. Which we later blanched in salted water, peeled, and served in an arugula, mint, fava, and black olive salad dressed with lemon juice and olive oil and topped with a bit of burratta cheese (that’s fancy mozarella, with a heart of molten cream). After all that, Violet didn’t think much of the flavor of the favas, but during the counting they were perfect.
—Hugh

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