This recipe should really be titled in English because you will never see it in France. Why? Because corn is for pigs! Oui, c'est vrais!
The one time I found and purchased fresh corn at my local Parisian farmer's market, the vendor gave me four kisses on the cheek instead of the normal two. He was overjoyed that some one was actually buying it. I did notice many raised eyebrows in the line behind me along with a few whispers. Oh well, I'm American, I seem to stir up trouble no matter what I do...
Since I'm home in San Francisco for this month I've been gorging myself on fresh local produce because we don't see a lot of it in Paris. Most of the farmer's markets in Paris are not farmer's selling their fruits and vegetables, but resellers buying the produce from Rungis (the largest super market in the world) and selling it at a premium price. It's even difficult for restaurants to get direct produce deliveries from farmers.
I picked up all my salad ingredients straight from the coastal farms around Pescadero plus a flat of the jucy strawberries and a bag of sugary sweet peas. I left a trail of pea pods and strawberry tops over the mountain and through La Honda just in case I got lost and needed to find my way back.
Fava beans, although a little labor intensive to prep, are worth the effort. They are cheery in color, high in nutritional value, flavorful, and the pods add nitrogen to your compost pile. Farmer's often grow fava beans as rotation crops to boost their soil.
Arguably Italians really have the best recipes for Fava beans, but there are a few traditional French recipes including puree of fava bean soup. I prefer to leave the bean whole because I think their shape is really cute. I like the fatness of the bean with it's little hip curves. Fava beans got back baby!
This recipe is versatile and goes with just about anything barbecued – fish, chicken, meat – whatever! It's bright and cheery and it tastes good.
For recipe click on "continue reading..."
Warm Fava Bean, Corn, and Cherry Tomato Salad
2 ears of sweet, sweet corn
1 basket of colorful cherry tomatoes
1 big bag of fava beans (around 10-15 pods)
5 leaves of basil shredded fine
1 1/2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Fleur de sel
Freshly ground pepper
Gros sel or kosher salt
1. Place a large pot of water on to boil with 2 Tablespoon gros sel or Kosher salt. While water is heating up shell pods. Prepare an ice water bath for beans.
2. Once water is boiling add beans and cook for about 1 1/2 minutes. Take one bean out after the first minute and dunk in the ice water bath. Peel off outer skin and check for doneness. Bean should be bright green, easy to peel, and firm. NOT mushy. If they are al dente remove beans to ice-water bath with a slotted spoon to stop cooking. If you see the skins starting to come off earllier remove beans to ice-water bath immediately
3. Peel off outer white-ish bean skin and reserve bright green favas.
4. Shuck corn and cut it off the cobb. Reserve.
5. Cut cherry tomatoes in half. Reserve.
6. Shred basil fine.
7. Heat a large skillet with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil to medium hot. Make sure oil is hot before cooking! Add corn and flash fry for 1-2 minutes stirring often. Corn should start to brown a little bit. Add 1 more Tablespoon of olive oil and the favas. Toss to heat through. Once beans and corn are cooked to your liking (which I hope is al dente or tender-crisp) remove from heat and add vinegar, basil, cherry tomatoes, a big three finger pinch of fleur de sel, and freshly ground pepper. Stir or toss to incorporate and serve warm!