This recipe will provide you with a quick, simple and tasty side dish or first course. Plus, bonus title alliteration! 😉
Living in a primarily Italian neighborhood has its advantages. I’ve learned how to grow tomatoes (of course, “knowing how” doesn’t necessarily guarantee success); that bocce ball is not (No, no, Signora, not at all!) the same as cricket; how to make great pesto with my home-grown basil; that “basta!” is not, as I imagined, an obscenity; what a lawn is supposed to look like in summer (hint: it’s not that one the HH just mowed); that there’s a huge difference between authentic oil-cured olives and the ones you get in the grocery store; and that there are three–yes, three–forms of fava beans to eat (dried, roasted, and fresh).
When I first spied the gargantuan fava pods (also called Broad Beans) in the grocery store, I had to ask the produce manager what they were. Tugging at the stringy fiber along one side so the pod slit open, he removed one of the raw beans, popped it directly into his mouth and offered me one to try. I immediately decided that the raw beans are an acquired taste. However, lightly sautéed with garlic and olive oil, tossed with a drizzle of citrus–and they’d likely appeal to anyone.
I do “peel” the beans (remove the waxy coating on each individual bean), which takes a bit of prep time. But you can easily do this while the brussels sprouts cook, and it’s kind of fun to perfect the “squeeze and pop” technique of ejecting the beans from their casings. Then just toss them with the shredded sprouts, and voilà!–a simple and fancy side dish, both at once.
When shredded and cooked al dente this way, the brussels sprouts are crisp, green, not bitter!, and even just a little bit sweet. The combination of starchy beans and zesty lemon offers a great counterpoint in flavor and texture–all in all, a satisfying, substantial, and yet still light side dish.
“Si, looks great, Madre! And how about uno or due biscotto for us–?”
Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Fresh Favas (or Edamame)
suitable for ACD all stages (if using edamame)
This is a great summer side dish alongside grilled. . . anything. It would even work well at room temperature on a buffet table. I tossed in some cubed tofu and called it dinner.
12-15 pods of fresh fava beans (or 3/4 cup/180 ml shelled edamame, lightly steamed)
1 pound (454 g) brussels sprouts, trimmed and shredded (see instructions)
1 Tbsp (15 ml) extra virgin olive oil, preferably organic
2-3 cloves garlic, sliced
zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
fine sea salt, to taste
Prepare the beans: slit open each pod and remove the actual fava bean. (You should have around 3/4 cup or 180 ml beans). Bring a small pot of water to the boil; add the beans and allow to cook for two minutes, just until they turn bright green and plump up a little. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
Meanwhile, begin the sprouts: Cut each sprout in half vertically (from the top down to the stem). Place cut side on a cutting board, then slice into thin slices. The sprouts should naturally begin to separate into shreds this way. Place in a bowl and toss with your fingers to help the sprouts separate into shreds, if necessary. Set aside.
Heat the oil over medium heat in a large frypan. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the sprouts and continue to cook, stirring almost constantly, until they barely begin to soften and turn bright green. Toss in the reserved favas and stir just to heat through. Remove from heat.
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