Monday, May 10, 2010

Ear of Fava

The fava of spring is most often the bean, but what of its silky smooth green?

Their texture and silvery sheen remind me of Weimaraner ears. I came across them at the County Line stand, which is at the Ferry Plaza farmers' market on Tuesdays and Thursdays (county line being: Marin-Sonoma). Unbeknownst to me, these mild leaves have been anointed the next "it" green on Bay Area menus, though you can choose how much salt with which to take the SF Chronicle's forecasting (see Bauer and others). I don't eat out enough to be able to verify this, so anyone with their finger on the local dining pulse should feel free to drop a few cents in the comment bucket.

I tore up these velveteen greens for a lunchtime salad. They are surprisingly mild--I expected some bitterness but they taste watery fresh at first, then pass into an almost sweet, fava-pea flavor. For contrast, I mixed them with some spicy arugula and also added white and orange Chantenay carrots, slimly sliced fennel root, and strawberries. The dressing was Meyer lemon juice mixed with minced & muddled shallots, fancy olive oil I've been hoarding since my birthday, and salt and pepper, all shook up. I later sauteed the leftover fava leaves with some other braising greens, shallots, and garlic.


Marc said...

I hadn't noticed that County Line, which sells at the farmers market that I frequent, has fava leaves. I'll look more closely this Saturday. I like the flavor of fava but often don't want to do the work to double-shell the beans. I might cook them with other vegetables like asparagus, leeks, snow peas, snap peas in a skillet then garnish with fresh mint and lemon zest.

It seems that the other fava-bean growing farmers aren't reading Bauer or studying 'hot' restaurant menus, as none of them bring the leaves, they only bring the beans.

kale daikon said...

Yes, I feel that way about beet greens too--that it's a shame that some farmers cut them off. I always try to get beets with nice greens as a kind of two-for-one, though I suspect the greens are only good while the beets are still small and young.