Fava Beans Grilled Two Ways

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Anthony Hopkins made fava beans a cultural reference when he paired them with chianti in the thriller Silence of the Lambs. Still, fava beans escape most Americans' culinary radar. The color alone is inspiration enough to slog through the prep to expose the darling kidney shaped bounty inside its long velvety house. Paired with pancetta in spaghetti, on top of a ricotta slathered piece of bruschetta, or as a bed for fish, these mighty broad beans rock.

INGREDIENTS

fava beans with Garlic Scape Pesto

1 cup garlic scapes, chopped

1/4 cup pine nuts

1/2 cup olive oil

1/3 cup Parmesan

Sea salt and pepper

1 bag frozen fava beans

1/4 cup Garlic Scape Pesto

Sea salt flakes

Olive oil

Chile-Garlic Oil Fava Beans

1 pound fresh or 1 bag frozen fava beans

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1/4 chopped red fresno pepper

5 to 6 tablespoons olive oil

Maldon sea salt flakes

Baguette (sliced), raw vegetables, or petite toasts (for serving

DIRECTIONS

for the garlic scape pesto

1. Place chopped garlic scapes in a food processor and mix for about 15 seconds until the pieces have been broken up but are not completely pureed.

2. Add the pine nuts and Parmesan and pulse until combined.

3. Slowly add the olive oil to create an emulsion. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl or plate and set aside.

for the chile-garlic oil

1. Combine the chopped chili pepper and garlic slices with the olive oil in a small saucepan. Simmer over low heat until the garlic begins to turn golden. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

fava beans

1. Place a ridged pan or CAST IRON SKILLET over high heat on the stove for 5 minutes. 

2. In a bowl, toss the fava beans with 1 teaspoon olive oil and pour the beans into the hot skillet in a single layer. Immediately lower the heat to medium. Allow beans to cook and get slightly charred, stirring frequently to avoid burning. If the pan is small, cook in 2 batches.

3. Once the beans are cooked, place half of the beans around the Garlic Scape Pesto. Toss the remaining beans with the Chile-Garlic Oil. Sprinkle both dishes with the sea salt flakes and serve with sliced baguette, crackers, or crudités.

Kitchen Notes

Frozen fava beans work fabulously if the goal is to skip the process of shelling or have a large crowd to feed. If using frozen favas, rinse beans under hot water to defrost and dry before removing the outer skin of the bean. Trader Joe's sells frozen fava beans. During the summer months, fresh fava beans may be found at farmer's markets. The process of shelling takes time, but the beans have a striking green pop of color that make the effort worthwhile. Any leftover pesto may be kept for a week in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Garlic scapes are available in early summer for about four weeks. Make in batches and freeze in plastic lined muffin tins. This pesto stores for months in the freezer without losing its gorgeous green color.

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