Over here, we’re not that great at planning menus and sticking with the original plan. We have grand ideas that we try to pull together, starting with shopping for necessary items. More often than not, I forget an essential ingredient and well, most times, at […]
Month: May 2011
I learned something new. At least new to me. Did you know you can use the leaves from fava bean plants to make pesto? While at Chino Farms one day, somebody mentioned to me that they used the fava bean leaves for pesto. What a brilliant idea! I just had to give it a try since our garden was brimming with these plants. I picked the nice small-ish tender leaves from the tops of the plants and also shelled the beans to go into this unique pesto. It’s an easy recipe that makes the most of this season’s fava beans while highlighting their natural flavor.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Fresh fava beans
Tender fava bean leaves
fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper
First, shell fresh beans and blanch them for 1 minute. Let cool and remove the tough outer skins. In a food processor, chop garlic cloves, add fava bean leaves, and in a steady stream, add olive oil. Process until leaves are chopped well and then add the favas, and a handful of toasted and cooled pistachios. Add grated parmesan cheese, process until just combined, adding a bit more oil if needed and a squeeze of lemon to brighten the flavors. Season to taste with sea salt. Spread on fresh sliced bread, top with shaved radish and a twist of fresh ground pepper.
I’m missing San Sebastián and really wish I could pop into a pintxo bar and have lunch. Sadly, we’re no longer there, so we have to do the next best thing and make it ourselves. This pintxo idea came from fresh produce from Chino Farms and our own home-grown fava bean plants. It was harvest time. We picked the plants clean, saved a handful of the best beans to be dried for next year, and shelled the rest. I made a hummus spread with cilantro oil that was spread on slices of baguette topped with thinly shaved purple radish, white and yellow carrots, Larte Idiazabal cheese, and purslane.
Fava bean pod. This is just one of a grocery bag full, more than 5 pounds that we shelled while enjoying a cocktail outside.
Farm fresh toppings.
Vibrant fava bean hummus and cilantro oil. The cilantro came from our garden as well. This made for one excellent lunch and snack for later.
It’s super easy to make, although I did not measure anything out. Shell the beans and blanch for approximately one minute. Cool and pop them all out of their skins. Puree the shelled beans with olive oil, a few garlic cloves, lemon juice, water just to thin out an bit, and salt to taste. Adjust seasonings as desired. Using a food processor, blend fresh cilantro with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Make a well in the center of the hummus and pour in the cilantro oil. You can use any combination of toppings, or none at all. This fava bean hummus tastes refreshing all by itself with a slice of fresh baguette.
On our last day in Paris, we wet back to Montmartre, had lunch at Gontran Cherrier, and went for dessert at Pâtisserie Arnaud Larher. Once I was inside this shop, I was completely enthralled with the myriad of choices. Verrines, eclairs, chocolates, spheres, candies, and […]
On our first trip to Montmartre, after seeing the sights, we wandered around and came upon Gontran Cherrier‘s shop. What a find! I was instantly smitten with the variety of fresh baked breads (curry baguette pictured here), pastries, and sandwiches. We had lunch and returned again the next day. It was that good.
On the left is a red miso bun sprinkled with paprika, an almond tart, and a spinach and pumpkin seed bun with arugula, red onions, avocado, and cucumber. So tasty. There was also a black bun made with squid ink that looked super cool.
Look familiar? If you’ve seen the movie Amélie, you’ve seen Sacré Coeur. It’s massive and a good walk straight up (if you take the stairs to the left). Otherwise, you can do like we did and walk up the front stairs and stop on the benches to sit, people watch, and catch your breath before ascending to the top.