It hit me this past weekend, as we infused our days with parades, picnics, carnivals and barbecues, that even though the calendar doesn’t say so, the summer season is here. And, oh, I’m not sure I’m ready for it just yet.
Here in Northern California, there is no shortage of great food. We are surrounded by farmland, food enthusiasts, and farmer’s markets all year round. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in my day-to-day life, that I forget to take advantage of the wealth of information, food, and flavors that surrounds us.
This past week, I finally revisited the farmer’s market. It’s there every Thursday waiting for me, but too often I find myself rushing home after dropping the kids off at school to get some work in before the end of the school day. I decided to change things up this week, and am very pleased to say that some great things happened in our kitchen this past weekend. Our farmer’s market finds included cherries, fava beans, kale and squash. And these few items picked up at the market, brought an infusion of new flavors of the season to our table, and excited us all (kids included).
In our kitchen, we made cherry gelato, fava bean crostini with lemon oil, crispy kale chips, and grilled squash alongside our dry rub pork loin for Memorial Day.
I could see the spark in the eyes of the kids, who were intrigued by something different; by something they hadn’t seen in a while. I was intrigued by the excitement they had for trying ‘new’ foods. I guess it’s time for some spring cleaning of my cobwebby recipes, and time to add the flavors of the season to our meals.
Grab yourself some favas, tomatoes and peaches. Create a delicious mixed salad, and berry infused ice cream, and start enjoying all the flavor that seasonal foods have to offer. To get you started, I’ll include this delicious recipe made with fava beans.
Fava Bean Crostini with Lemon Oil
- ½ pound fresh fava beans
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- salt and pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 baguette, sliced thin and toasted
- lemon oil
- good quality Pecorino
Peel and seed the fava beans. In a medium pot with boiling water, blanch the favas for 1 minute until the outer skins are loosed from the bean. Peel the outer skin and set aside the beans.
In a bowl of a food processor, place the 3 tablespoons olive oil with the minced garlic. Add the favas and puree until the beans are smooth. Add the additional olive oil as needed to soften the paste and make it emulsify. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Smooth a dollop of the fava bean puree on each toasted baguette slice and drizzle with lemon oil. Place a shaving of the Pecorino on top of each and serve.