Bringing Sicily Home

sicily-7Spring and Fave (Broad) Beans

It was the end of May this year that brought me to the hills of Sicily, picking Fava beans (the end of their season) in the vegetable garden at the back of Case Vecchia in the hot sun. It was part of a week long cooking and photography workshop at the Anna Tasca Lanza Cooking School.

In Australia we call fava beans, in their distinctive large green spongy pods, broad beans. I always felt they were too much work until I tasted the authentic flavors in Sicily of Fabrizia Lanza’s fava bean soup with an egg dropped in the middle and dusted with fresh parmigiana. I think you could taste the green goodness. And when I returned I waited to see them appear so I could bring some of that sicilian summer feeling into my Clareville kitchen.

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It’s taken 6 months for these wondrous large beans to appear in the organic farmers market on the northern beaches as spring is just coming to life. Of course not in large enough quantity to makes bowls of soup. So I have used them simply … tossed into a raw zucchini salad and dropped into tomatoes and goats cheese tarts .. perfect added to fresh summer picnic ideas.

Raw Zucchini Salad with Broad Beans

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Ingredients

Serves 2

  • 1 large zuchini
  • 1 small lemon
  • 1 tbls chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 tbls olive oil
  • 1/2 cup broad (fava) beans, steamed and peeled

Equipment

A hand spiralizer (this transforms the zucchini into long spaghetti-shaped pieces)

Instructions

Spirialise the zucchini and place in a glass or metal bowl and toss in the juice of half a lemon. Let this rest while you prepare the other ingredients.

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Crack the broad beans out of their pod and steam them for a few minutes. (If they are small and sweet then you can eat them raw). Freshen in cold water and then pop the broad beans out of their thick casing.  Toss them into the zucchini with the chopped parsley.

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Mix in the remaining juice of half a lemon with the olive oil and salt and paper. Dress the salad. Toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan (or you can toast pinenuts in a small amount of butter) and then add to salad and serve.

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You can add any remaining broad beans to individual tomato and goat cheese tarts.

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