Saturday, July 2, 2011

Toast = Fava + Pancetta + Grilled Fig

What You Need:
fava beans: 
1 pound fresh fava beans (will yield about 1 cup)
1 roasted shallot, puréed 
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
zest from 1/2 lime
1/2 tablespoon minced fresh thyme 
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
2 tablespoons reserved pancetta cooking oil* 
1/2 teaspoon sea salt 
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 
1 sweet or sourdough baguette 
frisée salad: 
5 cups frisée
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar 
2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice 
3 tablespoons olive oil 
3 whole black mission or brown turkey figs, sliced lengthwise about ¼ inch thick 
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 
sea salt and cracked pepper to taste 
6 ounces pancetta or unsmoked bacon, diced 
2 tablespoons olive oil for sautéing the pancetta or bacon 

How You Make It:
1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and sauté until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Set aside, reserving 2 tablespoons of the cooking oil.
2. Whisk lime juice, white balsamic vinegar and olive oil in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper. Toss the frisée with the vinaigrette in the large bowl. Set aside. 
3. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Blanch the fava beans for 5 minutes, then drain and plunge into an ice-water bath. Once the beans are cool, peel them, discarding the skins. 
4. Put the beans in a food processor. Add the shallot, lime juice, lime zest, and thyme and pulse for several seconds until the beans are coarsely chopped. With the machine running, add the 1/4 cup olive oil and the reserved pancetta cooking oil until well combined. Season with sea salt and cracked pepper. Set aside. 
5. Lightly season the fig slices with sea salt and black pepper and grill. Set aside. 
6. Lightly oil ½ inch slices of the baguette, season with sea salt, and grill on both sides. Set aside. 
7. Using a butter knife, spread 1 teaspoon fava bean purée on each toast. Lay one slice of grilled fig on one end of the baguette piece. Place a few pieces of the pancetta on top and serve along side the frisée salad.

talking heads:
Note from Renee / Nutritionist: "These members of the pea family are believed to have numerous health benefits and are packed with many essential nutrients required by the body, such as phosphorus, potassium, vitamin K, vitamin A and iron. They have high concentrations of protein and fiber, with low amounts of fat and no cholesterol. They also have high concentrations of L-dopa (dopamine), an amino acid that is a neurotransmitter in the brain. Dopamine plays a role in the brain in such activities as memory, mood, sleep, energy and sex drive. These levels decline in our brain as we age, so these beans might help to keep these important levels up." 
Recommendation from Brian / Winemaker: Spanish Style sparkling wine called “Cava”. “Cava is the perfect choice for this pairing. Known for its crisp fruity style, it generally has a touch of sweetness. The “greenness” of the fava beans will be tamed by the over abundance of fruit, while the acidity will compliment and balance the pancetta”

Note from Corey: "Fava beans are rich, nutty, and buttery and make great purées. They are in season from spring through their peak in July. You can find them at most markets or from farms such as The Chef's Garden in Huron,Ohio. To reduce the fat level in this recipe, you may substitute an equal amount of vegetable stock for the reserved pancetta cooking oil. Omit the pancetta completely and you have a good vegetarian option for you and your guests." - Corey 

The Chef's Garden website:

You can also find several local markets through some of the links at the top of the blog (in the gold bar).