Sunday, September 30, 2007

Fava Beans Smell Like Horses

I like Bob Dylan, I think. It's taken me a while to get to this point.

***

Today I went to Fairway for a restock on the groceries we can't get in the neighborhood (on today's list: nice olive oil, bulk nuts, flax seed oil, Fairway brand chocolate -- which, OMG, is amAzing).

As always, I got pulled a little off course and ended up with some stuff not on my list. The most interesting impulse buy was a pound or so of fresh fava beans. I got them home and did some reading up about them. I learned two things: 1) there's a genetic disease called Favism that makes fava beans poisonous to you, and 2) sometimes people sauté up their fresh fava beans with onion, fennel root, thyme, and nutmeg.

I thought that sounded pretty good, and neither I nor Perry are from the Mediterranean and central Asian regions associated with Favism (plus we've both eaten many a fava in our lives with no ill effects), so I added the dish described above (and below) to our dinner menu (whole wheat linguine w/ pesto made this summer and then frozen, and steamed green beans).

Here is how I prepared the fava beans:

Shell beans. Boil up some really salty water and boil shelled beans for about 3 mins (2 would have been plenty). Drain beans and transfer to a bowl of ice water. Let them get cool (just a couple of minutes -- don't want to leave them in there too long). Peel off thick outer skins from beans, revealing sweet, glistening, green, soft, delicious bean inside. Discard skins and set beans aside.

Chop up 1 onion and 1 fennel bulb (or half or less if you don't want your beans positively SWIMMING in delicious onion and fennel) and saute over medium heat in some olive oil. Once the onion and fennel are pretty cooked (onion is translucent and soft but not breaking down or browning), add beans and thyme/nutmeg/salt/pepper to taste, and cook for another couple of minutes. In this case the beans were already pretty much cooked from their scalding earlier so they only really needed to be reheated. Remove from heat and serve!

So, it's delicious! But here's the thing -- it *tastes* great, but this dish *smells* very, very strongly of horses.

Yeah, I don't know. I have no idea *why*, but it smelled just like horses, complete with that tang of horse urine. Happily, since most of my childhood summers were spent in stables, this is a smell that is rife with good associations for me, and (this is important) the dish didn't TASTE like horses or pee, so I had no problem. Perry wasn't so keen on the idea of eating something that smelled like that, though, so I was on my own. (In his defense I'll admit that the beans were an unhappy combination with the pesto -- I wouldn't recommend pairing them in a meal).

So all of this is why I'm more or less supine at this moment. I just ate one large onion, one fennel bulb, and about a pound of fava beans all by myself. This is in addition to a beer and green beans and pasta with pesto.

But I can't bring myself to regret my gluttony. Those horse-pee smelling fava beans were the shit. So to speak.

3 Comments:

Blogger Ali Mohsin said...

im just eating fava beans for the first time. i bought these in canned form from a middle eastern store here in southern california. im at work and have nothing else to eat. these beans smell exactly what u have said above. its hard to eat them bcuz of their smell.

1:05 AM  
Blogger Ali Mohsin said...

im just eating fava beans for the first time. i bought these in canned form from a middle eastern store here in southern california. im at work and have nothing else to eat. these beans smell exactly what u have said above. its hard to eat them bcuz of their smell.

1:05 AM  
Blogger igotbutterflies99 Mamoune32 said...

I bought fava beans for the time...I really don't know what wet horse smells like....I do know I can't eat something that smell this bad...I'll have to get these nutrients in other foods that doesn't make me gagged

10:01 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home