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Fava Bean and Zucchini Gratin


Sprinkling this gratin with panko bread crumbs gives the topping a pleasant crunch.

  1. 4 pounds fresh fava beans, shelled (4 cups) shelled
  2. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  3. 1/2 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  4. 1 small onion, minced
  5. 1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  6. Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  7. 1 cup heavy cream
  8. 1 teaspoon chopped tarragon
  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and fill a large bowl with ice water. Blanch the fava beans in the boiling water for 1 minute. Drain and transfer to the ice water to cool; drain again. Using kitchen shears, snip off a small bit of skin at one end of each fava and pinch out the beans. Discard the skins.
  2. Preheat the broiler. In a medium ovenproof skillet, melt the butter. Pour half of the melted butter into a small bowl and stir in the panko. Add the onion to the skillet and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the zucchini, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat until softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cream, tarragon and fava beans and simmer over moderate heat until the cream is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes longer.
  3. Broil the vegetables 8 inches from the heat until the crumbs are toasted, about 2 minutes.
Serve With Roasted chicken or grilled lamb chops.
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