Umbrian Inspired Favas

by Sherri Koehler on June 8, 2010

Organics to You has been bringing us fresh fava beans for a few weeks now and I’ve repeatedly put them into a green bag in the fridge until I figure out what to do with this new produce. Tonight I finally decided to cook up the pile of them as inspired by a recipe I found online for an Umbrian fava bean stew, Scafata. I didn’t have the ingredients exactly so I winged it quite a bit (so no exact recipe, just technique follows).

The result was very tasty! Here’s a rough outline of what I used and did:

Roughly 3 pounds of unshelled, fresh Favas were used in the dish. I combined them with a small onion, 3 cloves of garlic, a small bunch of green garlic spears, a bulb of fennel, and 2 large stalks of celery. The onion was sauteed in olive oil along with the bulb garlic, then the celery, fennel, green garlic and the shelled beans. Once they all got going nicely and the fennel was softened a little I layered the chopped kale on top then topped it with a lid.

Once the kale began to wilt a little I added some thinly sliced, fresh sage and basil. I tossed everything together carefully to get the kale and herbs down into the rest of the veggies, then covered again. I added a splash of Vinho Verde we had on hand since it seemed like a little more moisture would help and covered again.

After the kale had fully softened I added some dried dill and marjoram (didn’t have fresh, seems like thyme would be nice too) as well as salt and pepper. At this time I diced up 3 tomatoes and tossed them in. Given that the original recipe comes for Italy I decided to add some champagne vinegar as well as some balsamic & fig vinegar.

Simmer on low until the outside of the beans was tender – total cooking time was a little over an hour since it takes a while for the skins of the fresh favas to get tender. I served this with some garlic/pepper tempeh braised with balsamic vinegar.

Totally delicious and I’ll certainly make again!

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