Fava Beans, Spinach, Garlic Scapes, Oh My

Fava beans. Photo credit: Zachary D. Lyons

Fava beans. Photo credit: Zachary D. Lyons

First week of June, and the market is already flush with signs of summer. Devon from Nash's Organic Produce reports that fava beans are here! Also known as the broad bean, the fava (pictured above) is a shelling bean with a tough outer pod that must be pried open along its seam. Each bean is encased in a skin that needs peeling, too. It's a time-consuming process that fava bean lovers know all too well. One way to simplify the second-skin peeling: Drop the shelled beans  in boiling water for about 60 seconds, then into a bowl of water. The skins should slip off much more readily. They are exquisite with a drizzle of really good extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle of coarse salt or thin shards of sharp cheese, like pecorino, Parmigiano or Manchego. They're also pretty darn wonderful sauteed in a few tablespoons of butter and a handful of chopped leafy herbs like mint or parsley. 

Nash's has declared spinach their veggie o' the week, which means it's at its peak and will soon be a distant memory until cooler temperatures return. Quickie tip for spinach: Rinse really well, then immediately transfer to a saucepan. Cover, turn up the heat to medium and let the spinach wilt. This should take a whopping two minutes. Drain off residual water, transfer to a serving bowl, season with butter or olive oil, or soy sauce and sesame oil. Ridiculously easy. 

Keep your eyes peeled for garlic scapes -- they were spotted at our sister market in Wallingford this week and we are betting on scape sightings this Sunday. If you've never had the pleasure, the scape is the curlicue green shoot of a developing garlic bulb. Tender like a scallion, with a mild garlic flavor, the scape makes UH-MAZING pesto. Twist our arm and we'll share recipe details. Remember: Because the scape represents a specific stage in the life of the garlic plant, it is available for a limited time only. Get'em while they last.

A little birdie informed us at the 11th hour that in addition to their strawberries, Sidhu Farms will have raspberries. Let the produce party commence!  See you at market.