Fava Bean Spread

On May 2, 2016, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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The past two weekends I bought some fresh fava beans.  They’re hard to miss. Giant peapods with a rich green color usually next to a box of beans, fava beans are sure to catch your attention. The next thing to wonder is what to make with these colorful bean monstrosities. For me, there was an obvious answer – fava bean spread.

Last year, we were dining out and enjoyed some fava bean spread on toast at a local restaurant. I immediately came home and started to search the Internet for some recipes to try my own take on this wonderful, buttery bean spread.  Some recipes called for mixing in some goat cheese or Crème fraîche. I wanted to try something without the addition and then build from there.

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The recipe below is just that. A basic fava bean spread that you can use as a base to experiment. Maybe add a 1/3 cup of goat cheese to it. Perhaps some tablespoons of Crème fraîche until you get the texture and flavor you want. You could also add grated cheese.

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For now, this basic recipe will get you started and really it needs nothing. The flavor is great as is, but if you do experiment please leave me some comments on what you did to enhance or try. I would love to hear it.

Fava Bean Spread
Serves 6-8 slices

1 1/2 lb whole fava beans with pod
1/2 lemon, juice
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup water
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the whole fava beans in boiling water for 5 minutes.  Remove and let them cool for 5 minutes.  Start chucking the pods by removing the pod. Put beans aside in a separate bowl.  When all finished removing the pods, now remove the skin from each bean.  You’ll see a dingy green skin that you can peal off to reveal bright green peas. Place the bright green beans in a saute pan.

Heat the saute pan on medium heat and toss the beans with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.  Add water to the pan.  Toss to coat everything and heat mixing the beans around for about 5 minutes to soften the beans.

Add the cooked beans, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper to a food processor. Puree it until you have a thick paste.  Add more olive oil or lemon juice if you need to get it smoother or modify the flavor a bit.

Heat some bread slices brushing olive oil on top of each and place in the oven at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Remove the bread when done and spread on the paste. Shave some parmesan and drizzle a little olive oil to finish.

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Bean Succotash

On October 6, 2014, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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One of my favorite food shows of recent is PBS’ The Mind of a Chef.  Season Two is now on Netflix and I am working my way through the season which features Southern Chef Sean Brock. It’s been a great second season especially after an amazing Season One staring David Chang.

The first episode shows Brock and another chef making a variation on succotash that uses boiled peanuts and ends with a lemon ricotta the mixture is pilled on top of.  It looked amazing and I figured I’d do a version of it after I found some fresh lima beans at the South Pasadena Farmers Market last week. I had also picked up some bell peppers, heirloom tomatoes and a hatch chili pepper.

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Whole Foods also had some fried shelled peanuts I used instead of boiled.  Overall, I liked how the dish turned out and would definitely make it again.  I even had leftovers and brought just the bean mixture, without the ricotta, to the beach and had it with some crackers for lunch.

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Bean Succotash
Serves 4

2 cups fresh lima beans
1 15 oz can of white beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup shelled peanuts, fried or boiled
1 hatch chili or poblano, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons peanut oil
8 oz. fresh lemon ricotta cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

Place the hatch chili, tomatoes and bell pepper along with the olive oil into the oven at 400 degrees and roast for 45 minutes turning occasionally to get char marks around the pepper and chili.  Remove and let cool.

Cook the fresh lima beans in boiling water for 3 minutes.  Remove and place into a mixing bowl to cool.  Shell the peanuts and drain the white beans. Add the beans to the bowl and add the peanuts, except 1 tablespoon.  Crush the tablespoon of peanuts and add to the bowl.

Dice the roasted tomatoes, bell pepper and chili and add to the mixing bowl.  Add the peanut oil and toss in the bowl to mix adding some salt and pepper to taste.

Plate the dish by spooning out a circle of ricotta cheese and spoon on the bean and vegetable mixture.

NOTE: If not using lemon ricotta, just squeeze the juice of one lemon and mix with the ricotta before platting. You must use fresh ricotta, not the container stuff that has no flavor.

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Kale, White Bean and Sausage Soup

On January 13, 2013, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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I was definitely coming down with something and knew a good hearty soup would help get me through a couple days of sickness. Sadly by the following day when I finally made it to the doctor I found out the flu that has become an epidemic was what I had. This soup definitely helped; though, the Tamiflu medicine is pretty helpful too.

Whether you are healthy or sick this soup makes for a hearty dish during the winter months. It can also easily be made vegan by removing the sausage.

Kale, White Bean and Sausage Soup
Serves 4

2 medium onions, diced
8 cloves garlic, slivers
1 tsp paprika
4 bay leaves
pinch chili flakes
2 cans cannelini beans
1 bunch dinosaur kale, chopped
1 25 oz chopped Pomi tomatoes
3 cups vegetable broth
3 spicy italian sausages, bite-size cut
olive oil
pepper and salt to taste

Put a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium-high heat stockpot and add the onions with a pinch of salt, chili, bay leaves and paprika.  Let that cook for a 5 minutes until the onions become translucent, then add the garlic.  Cook for another 2 minutes.

Add everything else except the sausage and kale.  Bring everything to a boil and season with your liking of pepper and salt.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.

While everything else is cooking, heat the sausage in a saute pan and brown it with some olive oil turning and cooking on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes for precooked sausage. Add to the soup. When you are about 10 minutes away from serving, add the kale to the soup.

Serve with some sourdough bread and some shaved parmesan cheese.

 

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Vegetarian Tacos

On July 7, 2011, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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It’s no secret I love tacos, but finding a great vegetarian taco is not easy. So many restaurants over use bell peppers or try to get to complicated with sauces or cheeses. Fortunately, I found a fairly basic recipe from the vegetarian cookbook Appetite for Reduction. I modified it quite a bit, but kept some of its essence too as I liked the minimalist but impact of the spices used.

On a side note, our son Oscar liked the tacos too with one change – “no hot stuff.”

Vegetarian Tacos
Serves 4

1 medium yellow squash, cut into small cubes
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
2 small red or yellow potatoes, cut into small cubes and cooked
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed, removing all liquid
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup of salsa verde
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
tortillas
salt

Cook the potatoes in a small pot for about 8-10 minutes until done.

Start by heating the olive oil and cooking the squash and jalapeno together for about 7 minutes on medium heat and adding some salt to taste. Add the cumin, coriander, black beans and cooked potatoes to the squash and jalapeno. Cook for 5 minutes on medium-low heat then add the salsa verde and cook for about a minute more.

Heat the tortillas. I prefer heating them on a gas stove top turning frequently to get a nice charred burn or two.

Serve.

 

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Embelly White Chili

On April 18, 2011, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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We had stopped by our favorite locally focused grocery store, Urban Acres, and bought some sweet potatoes. What we did not expect was what kind of sweet potato. Apparently the Japanese Sweet Potato is a white, creamy potato that is very sweet. It has a smooth texture and tasted amazing in a vegetarian curry dish I made.

While looking for more recipes to use sweet potatoes in, my wife follows a good vegetarian blog. Emily Levenson’s blog has a post with the most amazing scones that just happen to be vegan. We wanted to try another recipe, this time a vegan soup.

For the Embelly White Chili recipe and other great cooking adventures checkout Emily Levenson’s food blog.

 

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