4.10.2014

Spring Sides: Green Beans and Favas with Parmesan


This is an example of a dish born on the spur of the moment. My family was coming for dinner and I planned to make a side of roasted broccoli, only I completely forgot to pick up the broccoli at Shoprite. 
 
Not inclined to go back there, I rummaged around the fridge and found some fresh green beans, and frozen favas. I decided to combine the two in the simplest way possible: a simple sauté with garlic, topped with Parmesan. 
 
The result was bright and springy, and the Parmesan was a great touch. I shaved it over the dish with a vegetable peeler, and it melted deliciously into the hot beans.  I think we all fought over the pieces with the most cheese! 
 
One note- I used a bag of frozen shelled favas from Trader Joe’s, but I prefer favas shelled twice, so after blanching I went through the ridiculous step of secondary peeling. I’m a perfectionist, I wanted to see the bright green!
 
This makes a perfect Easter side dish.
 
Green Beans and Favas with Parmesan, by me
Serves 6 as a side dish
 
1 lb skinny green beans
1 cup frozen pre-shelled fava beans
Parmesan cheese, to taste
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 big cloves garlic, smashed
Pinch red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
 
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Prepare a bowl filled with cold water and ice. 
 
Drop in your green beans, and boil for 1-2 minutes, until they just lose their vegetal taste but remain crisp. Lift out using a skimmer and immerse immediately into ice water.  Keep water boiling. 
 
Add fava beans to boiling water, and cook about 3 minutes. Remove to ice water and let cool completely.  Peel second shell, if desired. 
 
At this point, beans can be prepared a day ahead. (I like to store them in the skillet I’m going to cook them in, so when my guests are over I can just pull out the whole thing and go).
 
When ready to cook, combine olive oil butter in skillet and melt over medium high heat. Add pepper flakes and garlic, and sauté until garlic is golden brown. Add green beans and sauté 5 minutes, until warmed through. Add salt and pepper to taste.
 
Place in a serving bowl, and using a vegetable peeler, shave Parmesan cheese over the beans. (Alternately, use grated cheese). Add as much as you want, and enjoy!

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