I'm not sure where I get the energy to create things on farm day, but the veggies are so beautiful that's where I get my inspiration~ This week we received (from left to right) a single Fava bean, multi-colored carrots (Kendall's favorites!), .75 lb of mixed greens, Radicchio (or we could have picked scallions), radishes, green head lettuce, red lettuce, flat leaf parsley, Kale, Fennel (across the bottom) and I scavenged the U-Pick Fava Beans (in the basket).
The board said that the Fava beans and shelling peas were almost done and we could scrounge if we'd like to. I REALLY enjoyed the Fava beans so I gave it a go and spent about a half hour mucking around in the rows. I found some interesting looking beans.... Some had black spots all over the pod, some were withered, and some only had one or two beans per pod (instead of the 4-5 we had been getting). The COOLEST thing about these beans is the pod they're housed in. It's VERY protective and cushiony (is that a word?). The beans are great inside even if the outside leaves something to be desired.
The other cool thing about these beans is they grow "up" on the plants instead of hanging down. You can eat the pod and all on the young plants, but as they mature you only will want to eat the bean. The other interesting thing about Fava beans is the bean itself has a covering. Blanch the beans then use your fingernail to split the covering and squeeze the inside bean out! I found a lot of neat things about Fava beans on wisegeek.com. I'm starting a produce page to keep interesting information! For instance, Fava beans are one of the oldest plants under cultivation, and they were eaten in ancient Greece and Rome. Despite the name, fava beans are a member of the pea family, though they are also known as broad beans, pigeon beans, horse beans, and Windsor beans.
So I was looking for a tasty recipe to use my beans in and remembered a pasta salad I had read about in Tastes of Italia one of the very cool cooking magazines I picked up at Schuler Books last weekend. It was originally a Pasta and Broccoli Salad, but substitutions had to be made! I'll put the recipe (adapted as well) on my Recipes~ page.
YUM! I served it on a bed of fresh greens from the farm. It has an olive oil, balsamic vinegar dressing that turned the pasta an interesting shade of beige. Neither kid was crazy about it, but they ate their greens first with Ceasar dressing and LOTS of croutons! I told them we needed to start making our OWN croutons (because they eat a bag between the two of them!) and Kendall said: "Mom, we don't have to make EVERYTHING!" :)
The dessert was a brilliant concoction I dreamed up after reading an advertisement in the Taste of Italia for Bel Gioioso Mascarpone. I had seen the product but didn't realize it was one of the oh so very tasty ingredients in Tiramisu! It's used for savory dishes as well, but my sweet tooth was demanding something else!
SOOoo I started off with about a 1/2 cup of the Mascarpone (about 1/2 the container), added a 1/2 cup of organic sugar, a dash of vanilla, some dairy fresh cream and 1/4 of a very ripe peach. I blended it all together in my favorite appliance, The Bullet! I cut thin slices of a rectangular angel food cake (about 1/2 -3/4 inch each) and spread the cream mixture between the slices and on top of the cake. I refrigerated them and then served them with the fresh peaches, fresh Michigan blueberries and a drizzle of organic raspberry syrup. Oh my HEAVENS!!! Kyle gave it a 4 out of 5 stars and Kendall gave it 2 plate licks and an OH MY! ;) Gee, I think they'd like to have that again!
David had to work late and didn't get to eat with us, but he really enjoyed the pasta salad. The dessert was a bit on the sweet side for him, but he enjoyed the extra peaches. Tomorrow I have 20 pounds of organic cherries to deal with! WOO HOO!