At the corner of our street are two green-grocer stores. They used to be almost directly across from each other- one on one corner, the other, one store over from the opposite corner. It was always a dilemma if “our” store didn’t have what we were looking for. Did they watch to see if we’d go to the other shop? Then one day, the grocer we don’t frequent as often moved. A whole two stores over. I’m glad they moved- the new store is lighter, cleaner and bigger (not that I go that often). And because it’s just that much farther away from the one that Hubs and I shop at, I don’t feel as much like I’m cheating on “my store” if we have to go there. When we talk to our neighbours about the grocers, they’ve always picked one or the other as their first choice. Isn’t it funny how little loyalties like this develop?
There are many reasons why we chose “our” store. They way they lay out the fruits and vegetables with such care. Because they always have an incredible selection of fresh flowers and plants. That we recognize each other and say hello when hubs and I are just walking on by. We can chat easily about our favourite ways to use produce. And, the icing on the cake, they always seem to have something local and in season. Like these fava beans I bought last week which may have only been in the store for a day or two before they were all gone. Likewise for the sour cherries they were just laying out when I went back to the grocer for more favas. The shopkeeper explained to me the other day that local farmers often bring their freshly picked produce right to the store when it’s in season. Perfect for customers like hubs and I who greedily swoop in and buy it all up. We feel so lucky.
If you happen to come across fresh fava beans, don’t hesitate to buy as many of them as you possibly can. Yes- they require a little bit of effort… all the more reason to do a big batch at once! Remove the beans from the pod, drop into a pot of boiling water, boil for 2 – 4 minutes until tender, then plunge into a bowl of cold water. Use a knife to help pry open the waxy layer then gently squeeze the bean out and you’re ready to go. Easy! We served the bean salad along with some brown rice, a killer tempeh salad that I’ll have to share with you soon, sauteed daikon root and greens, and some kinpira. A feast!!
The fava spread can be used just like hummus, or you can get creative with it! Hubs and I made a refreshing pasta salad with cucumber, raw salad greens and grilled tofu, then smothered it with this pretty mint green sauce. Yum. It would be equally tasty served with rice, or an orzo salad… or just by the spoonful…. What are your favourite ways to use fresh fava beans?
ps: if you missed it, you can see the SCM summer newsletter here.