Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Best of Spring Vegetables

Farmers markets are loaded with beautiful spring produce right now and many of the stalls have big bins of fava beans, artichokes and asparagus. I loaded up on fava beans which I love and have a short growing season. When buying favas, remember that one pound of the bean pods will yield only about half a cup of cleaned beans, so buy a few pounds. I also bought really nice central coast baby artichokes and wild arugula for a salad which I was planing on making. The artichokes are cleaned and trimmed then cooked till tender, the favas beans are removed from the large pods, then quickly blanched in boiling water, the thin skin on the beans will come off very easy after this brief cooking. Next I slice ciabatta bread and grill the slices with olive oil to use as a base for the salad. The washed and dried arugula, cooked fava beans and artichokes are then tossed in extra virgin olive oil, fresh pepper, sea salt and a splash of white balsamic vinegar. The salad is then arranged on top of the crostini. It doesn't get any better then this, except with maybe Parmesan cheese shaved on top.

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