Successful attempt at making something from the farmers market! Mostly. We were on a tight schedule on Saturday. We had to run by my cousin’s house and let out her dog and feed him, then get August to a music class before we could swing by the tail end of the market. And before you decide I am some crazy weirdo that is putting her toddler in piano lessons, I will correct you and say that I am some crazy weirdo that is trying to socialize her child. August gets a good bit of socialization during the week from my Stroller Strides group, which I still owe you a post on. But he gets to play with kids there, and they also hold play dates that we attend. But whenever those play dates are structured, and especially if there is singing or clapping or loud excitement, he gets super upset. Can’t handle it. So I took him to a free session of a music class for kids eight months to five years old, to get a feel for how he would handle it.
He handled the shit out of it. Absolutely loved it. It was structured, but I didn’t have to hold him down in my lap. August could walk around and do his thing, which seemed to help a ton. The songs weren’t super loud or crazy. Each one had it’s own little instrument the kids would learn a bit about and get to play with. A drum pad, rhythm eggs, jingle bells, resonator bells, and more. The teacher would hand them out to each kid, do the song and let them play with it, then collect the instruments before she handed out a new one. I thought having to give something back would lead to a meltdown, but he was cool and happy when he understood that he would get something new after he turned in the old one. I’ve never seen him follow directions in a group setting like this, or even be all that happy. He was beaming! So I’m going to sign him up for the fall session. We were so happy with how the class went, and I think it’s going to be great for this stage where he is transitioning out of parallel play and interacting more with other kids.
Anyways, so we got to the farmers market towards the end, and I’m so glad I committed to this post because otherwise I would have said screw it and went home. And if that had happened, I would have missed out on these beauties!
Now, I have only ever even heard of fava beans in the context of Silence of the Lambs. So that made me need to buy them. I bought one basket and brought them home, ready to make a heaping side dish with possibly some leftovers. When looking online, I came across a few methods of preparing them with pecorino or parmesan and olive oil. Easy peasy.
I soon found that fava beans are a laborious bean to prepare. You gotta shell these suckers twice. First you take the beans out of the pod. Or bean. I would like to take this moment to address the fact that fava beans are also a misleading bean. They false advertise the shit out of themselves. Those big huge pods? Most look like they’ve got three big, tasty beans inside, ready for shelling.
So that was frustrating. After shelling all these suckers, expecting Adam and I would be able to each enjoy a hefty helping, this was what my labors produced.
After all that, I still needed to de-shell these guys a second time. They had a thick skin on them that needed to be removed. So I boiled some salted water and tossed in my disappointing yield, and let them cook for six minutes. Then I blanched those bitches.
After blanching, you can just pinch the end of the skin off and pop the bean right through. They’re bright and green and delicious, and worth all the effort, but I wish I would have known to buy more. But I tossed them in a bowl with a little EVOO, some crumbled pecorino, a bit of lemon juice and salt and pepper, and we were good to go. This was an easy side, once the initial prep was done, with really nice results.
I decided to make us a tapas-ish dinner, so I threw the fava beans together with more pecorino, some hard salami, and the most garlicy bread on this earth. It was all really delicious, and a great meal for out on the deck. Plus, having a green vegetable in there made me feel a little better about a dinner made almost entirely of meat, cheese and carbs. There was enough for Adam and I to both have a small side of the fava beans, but it ended up being just enough because the entire meal was pretty filling.
All in all, I would totally make fava beans again. I will just make way more of them next time. This weekend, I will hit the market again in search of something that I’ve never made, and I’ll report back with my findings. If anyone has a suggestion for something I should be on the lookout for, please share in the comments!