Flash in the Pan: Egyptian Fava Bean Breakfast
[Sometimes, you just want to eat something now. I've decided to offer a mini-post every once in a while, for a dish that comes together incredibly quickly or else is so easy to make that no recipe is required. Here's today's "Flash in the Pan." (For other FitP recipes, see "Categories" at right).]
While reading other blogs lately, I’ve noticed an increase in the number of savory breakfast recipes. Having been on the ACD as long as I have (longer than some Hollywood marriages, longer than Edge of Darkness was in movie theaters, longer than a piece of Stride gum’s flavor, longer than the beards on those ZZ Top guys), I’ve been enjoying savory breakfasts for some time. But it does feel great to know that so many of you are willing to give them a try, too!
When I saw this recipe for Egyptian fava beans, I knew I had to try it. It’s a variation on Ethiopian ful, about which I’d read many years ago–and have wanted to sample since. In fact, I’ve wanted to try fava beans in general for ages, but have been deterred (now, don’t laugh) because they still hold such negative connotations since I saw the original Silence of the Lambs. I just couldn’t bring myself to attempt something that was so relished by Hannibal Lecter.
Get over it, I told myself. These are friendly fava beans. And no liver in sight.
And so, I cooked up the dish. I mean, the recipe seemed so good and so easy, I jumped right in–fava beans be damned! (If only all phobias could be overcome so easily.). This dish is made with dried favas (versus the Martian-green fresh ones, which are obviously not in season about now). I must admit that I cut corners and used canned favas–I knew they had to be well-cooked, and didn’t want to risk messing up my first attempt. Next time, I’ll buy the dried beans and soak ‘em first.
While not quite as spicy as ful, this dish is certainly rich with flavor. The favas are a bit more starchy than your average legume, which made them even more breakfast-like in my mind; though, of course, you could eat this at any meal. At the same time, they’re packed with nutrition: one cup of cooked favas provides a whopping 13 grams of protein, 9 grams of fiber, almost no fat, and 14% of your daily iron. Their flavor is a bit unusual, slightly sour–almost fermented–yet creamy, satisfying and addictive all at the same time. And considering I ate almost the entire plate in one sitting, I’d say they grew on me pretty quickly.
Side note: this is my last post before the HH and I head out on holiday for a week–to Florida! I was determined to spend at least some time in a warmer climate during my vacation from the college this year, and since my dad is there at the moment, it seemed a perfect destination. Thanks to everyone on twitter who recommended restaurants for this fast-food challenged gal.
Not sure whether or not I’ll be able to update from the road, so I’ll leave you with this nourishing breakfast (or lunch, or dinner) until I return.
See you all in about a week!
Egyptian Fava Beans (ACD-friendly: Phase I or later)
adapted from Vegetarian Bible: Fresh from the Garden
1-1/4 cups (300 ml) dried fava beans, rinsed and soaked in cold water for at least 12 hours with 1 Tbsp (15 ml) baking soda (or just use canned, rinsed beans, as I did)
2 Tbsp (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil, preferably organic
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 large tomato, finely chopped (seeded if you want to be fancy)
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) fine sea salt (or to taste)
pepper, to taste
1 small jalapeno pepper, sliced (remove seeds for less heat)
freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste
Drain the beans and rinse well; place in a pot and cover with fresh water. Bring to boil, then lower heat and simmer until extremely soft. At this point, you should peel the waxy skin off each bean if you like (not essential, but much better as the skins are quite chewy). Simply squeeze one tip of each bean until the bean pops out of the skin (tutorial here). (I did this with the precooked, canned beans, and it worked perfectly.)
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the onion; cook for about 5 minutes, until it begins to soften. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is soft and just beginning to brown. Add about half the beans to the skillet and mash with a wooden spoon or spatula to create a bean-onion mush. Add the remaining (whole) beans, tomato, and heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and toss the jalapeno slices over all just before serving.
To serve, sprinkle the beans with fresh lemon juice (I used the juice of 1/2 lemon) and drizzle with extra olive oil, if desired. Best served with flatbread. Makes 2 large servings.
Last Year at this Time: Of Pods and Poetry: Arame and Edamame Salad (and some gratis Haiku thrown in for good measure)
Two Years Ago: Juicy Cuisine and Crunchy Granola (sugar-free granola recipe at bottom).
© 2010 Diet, Dessert and Dogs