Wednesday, June 13, 2012

BBQ Fava Beans and Carrots with Balsamic Dipping Sauce

In my neck of the woods, Fava Beans are "A Listers" on the “What’s Seasonal Now” list. These noble legumes are all the rage for their smoky notes, hulky nutrition and soil nitrogen fixing properties-Voss Garden Super Stars. I’ve planted in fall and I’ve planted in February and I like February better, less chance for diseases and bugs. Favas are particularly susceptible to aphids, and standing tall, need props for good posture. Otherwise they are easy to grow but so time consuming to prepare.

Short on time? Just let them go, harvest the whole plant at once, separate the pods, and hang them to dry in paper bags. After a few weeks, the big Lima sized seeds will separate easily from their husks. Store them in glass jars and bring a decorative touch to your kitchen. Later, soaked and simmered, they stand on their own as a hearty dish or add gusto to a soup or stew. Puréed favas blend into a distinctive hummus. Some gluten free nuts even make their own fava flour.

Fresh fava beans are so delicious I don’t want to miss out on their moment, but all that shucking and blanching and peeling is labor intensive. I love to cook, but I love to host and entertain too. How to do it all with grace and style? No worries mate, go fire up the Barbie and let your guests do the prep and eat at the same time.

Barbequed Fava Beans
Prep a few hours ahead or on the fly.

Place whole fava pods on a cookie sheet, drizzle lightly with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Stir.
Place sheet in BBQ on medium high, cover, allowing pods to steam for 15-20 minutes
Halfway through cooking, stir and sprinkle with kosher salt and smoked paprika
When pods are limp remove from heat. Set out a bowl for the discarded pods.
Roll up your sleeves, its gonna get messy. Dig in-hands on. Separate the beans from the pods like shelling edamame, or dunk the whole pods in the Balsamic Dipping Sauce* and suck out the beans. The pods taste so good you may want to eat them too. Say yes to a fiber fest!

I had some roasted carrots leftover from a previous post in the freezer. (see “Led By A Carrot”3/17/12, for how to roast) Thawed and just warmed on the grill, the carrots play nice with the beans, not only colorful but taste amazing!
P.S. For more fava fun and recipes see previous post, “Fava Four Way4/17/2010

*Balsamic Dipping Sauce
We originally made this for salad dressing, but it was so good we took a dip.

¼ c balsamic vinegar
¾ c olive oil
1 generous Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
3 cloves garlic
salt to taste
tons of fresh black pepper
put all ingredients in the food processor and let her rip

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