Grilled Fava Bean Pods with Chile and Lemon
"Trust me," says chef Nate Appleman about this unorthodox recipe. He quickly grills whole fava beans, tosses them with a crushed red pepper dressing and serves them hot. They can be eaten whole—the tender pods develop a lovely charred flavor on the grill—but it's also easy to eat them in the traditional way by popping the beans out of their pods and outer skins.
Fava Bean Pasta e Fagioli
Chef Mike Lata’s spring version of pasta e fagioli, the Italian soup, uses fresh fava beans in place of borlotti or cannellini beans, along with meaty bits of bacon and a sprinkling of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Rustic Vegetable Tart
The Medlock Ames tasting room has become a nexus for Healdsburg's burgeoning food-artisan scene: craft brewers, coffee roasters, cheesemakers, winemakers. General manager Kenny Rochford, a blond-haired Scotsman with contagious enthusiasm and an awesome smile, has knit himself into this community; he's a member of the local Slow Food chapter and one of the organizers of the first-ever Good Food Awards. For the tasting room, he transforms produce from the winery gardens into jars and jars of sweet oven-roasted tomatoes, "wee chutneys," Chioggia beets and pickled beans.
Spring Peas and Greens with Cacio e Pepe Dressing
Inspired by cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper), the classic Italian pasta sauce, this salad features spring greens and fava beans topped with a delicious buttermilk dressing.
Crunchy Vegetable Salad with Sautéed Peas and Radishes
This salad is a well-rounded meal in itself, supplying a wealth of nutrients, including vitamins A and C. "I grew up in the French countryside," Laurent Gras says, "so vegetable-heavy dishes make me feel like I'm back home."
Beer-Braised Chicken Stew with Fava Beans and Peas
Paul Kahan is a big fan of chicken thighs because they have so much flavor and are so inexpensive—the best of both worlds. He braises the thighs in beer to make an excellent spring stew that he (naturally) pairs with more beer, such as Pere Jacques from Chicago's Goose Island Beer Company, a Belgian-style ale full of caramelized malt flavors.
Charred Fava Bean Salad with Lemon and Tarragon
It's impossible to grill tiny favas, but the sweet-starchy beans get a similar smoky flavor when they're charred quickly in a hot skillet. Jean-Georges Vongerichten tosses the charred beans with garlic, jalapeño, tarragon and cubes of cheese for a warm salad.
Bruschetta with Mozzarella and Smashed Fresh Favas
Quinoa Salad with Grilled Scallions, Favas and Dates
"One thing I've learned as a chef is not to overfeed your customers—a food coma is very unpleasant," says Charlie Parker. This salad of grilled spring vegetables feels just filling enough, thanks to the protein-rich quinoa and a puree of dates that are grilled first to soften them and intensify their natural sweetness.
Roasted Veal Chops with Young Garlic Vinaigrette
So immature they haven't yet formed a papery skin, young garlic bulbs are pearly white and still have their green stems attached. The garlic is mild, with a delicate flavor that makes for a fantastic vinaigrette that Colby Garrelts drizzles over plump veal chops and smoky, charred corn and orzo salad. Look for young garlic at farmers' markets and specialty-food shops in the late spring.
Artichoke Custards with Fava Bean Sauce
In an homage to spring, Rolando Beramendi makes these lush custards with fresh artichokes; the flavor is wonderfully vivid.
Spring Vegetable Stew
When fresh fava beans are available, use them in place of the cranberry beans.