Monthly Archives: May 2013

Braised Fava Beans (Fava Stufate)

Recipe from: A Spasso per L’Italia (By Ai Yonezawa)

Braised fava beans with pancettaWhile fava beans got a bad rep as the choice of side dish for a snobbish cannibal ever since Dr. Lector so eloquently described to agent Starling how he dealt with a census taker who apparently had asked one too many questions, I have a much fonder (and socially acceptable) memory of eating these beans at family dinner table – Fumbling hot beans freshly cooked off the pot, managing to break a black seam and pop it out of the skin, then simply dipping in a bit of salt to eat it one by one… Yum.

But perhaps the joy of eating them is even more amplified by the fact that these beans with perfect green hue would also mark the arrival of warm seasons. Whenever I come across fresh pods of fava beans piled up in the produce section of a local grocery store, the scene evokes such a happy pleasant feeling that it leaves me excited and giggly as well as extremely prone to impulse purchase.

This year I was determined to make this fava bean dish my sister wouldn’t stop talking about for months without actually giving me the recipe. My persistence paid off, however – I finally got my hands on the secret formula to try out myself. And now I am completely hooked. Continue reading

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Za’atar Spiced Beet Dip with Goat Cheese and Hazelnuts

Recipe adjusted from: Food & Wine Magazine (Contributed by: Yotam Ottolenghi)

za'atar spiced beet dipI *adore* beets. It is my typical weekend routine to buy and roast a bunch so that I can enjoy them throughout the coming week. Whether with a quick lemon-balsamic vinaigrette and toasted nuts on the bed of greens or in creamy yogurt sauce with fresh herbs and spices, their intense sweetness always comes through even in simplest preparations and never ceases to amaze me. As if that is not enough, I also tend to order a beet appetizer when I eat out if the restaurant has one on the menu. I feel by now I have tried every possible combination of ingredients when it comes to eating beets.

So when I say this may be my favorite way of eating beets – You should know it’s not just good, it’s CRAZY good. Do consider yourself warned; Ever since I discovered this recipe, I have been making and eating it non-stop. I may have possibly exceeded my lifetime quota of beet consumption at this point. Continue reading