Sunday, August 7, 2011

Garlicky Favas and Roasted Tomatoes with Basil

If you're in the mood for a summery dish to load up with garlic, this might be for you. I made this during the week, and it really satisfied our garlic tooth.

(This is a loose recipe, the measurements are just as a guide...anything goes!)

Garlicky Favas and Roasted Tomatoes with Fresh Basil
1/2-3/4 pound fresh fava beans, out of shell
1 pound cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup (scant) veggie stock or water
Garlic, plenty! (or to taste)-- some slivered, some diced (I used about 7-8 good-sized cloves total)
Olive oil
Fresh basil, chopped
Salt and pepper

For the tomatoes:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and salt/pepper to taste. Roast in the oven for 10-12 minutes. About 2-3 minutes before you're ready to take them out of the oven, sprinkle plenty of finely chopped garlic over them (I used ~ 3 large cloves finely chopped). When the tomatoes are starting to caramelize and collapse, take them out of the oven and set aside.

Note: I roasted the cherry tomatoes in the oven because I think they get a little sweeter and more caramelized that way (and I was roasting potatoes too), but you could also just saute them in the same pan with the favas if you don't want to heat up the oven...just toss them in a few minutes before the favas and let them saute until they start to 'pop'. 

For the favas:
First, blanche and refresh the shelled favas: Bring a pot of well-salted water to boil. While that's coming to a boil, fill a bowl or large pot with cold water and add a tray of ice cubes; this is where you'll dunk the blanched favas so they cool off quickly and don't get overcooked. When the water is boiled, drop in the shelled fava beans and let them boil for about 45 more than 1 minute. Drain off the hot water and submerge the favas in the ice water. When they're cool, pinch off the thick outer skins to find the bright green, fresh favas inside.

Heat some olive oil in a large pan, add in plenty of finely slivered garlic (I used ~ 4 large cloves) and saute over medium for a minute or so, add in the blanched favas and the veggie stock, bring to simmer and cook for another 2-3 minutes. You want most of the liquid to cook off, but play it by ear; the favas should stay bright green and be just tender--not mushy or starting to fall apart. Toss in the roasted tomatoes and chopped basil, salt and pepper to taste.

I could eat this as a side dish or a main course. On this occasion, we had it as a side with mini crustless tofu quiches from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen and roasted potatoes. I've been wanting to try those mini quiche for some time, and I'm glad I finally got around to it. They're tasty and turn out well, and as Susan V says in her post, they are nice and light. They went well with the favas for some very digestible summer fare.  I followed the recipe closely, but did add about 1 tsp of light miso and a few drops of ume plum vinegar for a little extra zing.

Other than that, no real news here. I'm trying to make the most of the summer days with swims in the lake and pottering in the garden...a pretty tame existence. Not without its disappoinments though; I've had some ups and downs in the garden, which I guess is par for the course. I've also found some new favorite recipes online and in 'zines', which I hope to post about eventually. In short, we're eating well, which is a blessing.

Happy August everyone!
Rose Tobin
Roseann Marie LaPonte
Rosanne Tobin


  1. Everything looks so beautiful and colorful! Nice job on the plating. I'm going to have to check out the mini quiche. I love cute food.

  2. Absolutely lovely picture. Enjoy August.

  3. That is a good looking plate. Thanks for the tip on cooking the tomatoes in the skillet - it is too hot for oven-ing here! I love garlic and tomatoes, and this looks perfect with the favas, too.

    Oh, I had no doubts you were eating well. :)

  4. Rose -- You have such a knack for displaying your recipes in a delicious way. The favas and roasted potatoes look tantalizing -- barbara

  5. That plate looks so delicious! I've never really seen fava beans that green. Even your table setting looks great. Thanks for the reminder about the mini quiches...I've been wanting to try those forever too.
    Enjoy those summer swims!

  6. Your food always looks incredibly delcious. What a plate of amazing color!!
    Another recipe that this non-vegan would be willing to try. There's hope yet.

  7. This salad is too yummy!! Just love it! I also like the colour, the table setting, the photos, and the meal as a whole :-). I would come over for lunch if I could!


  8. You always have such beautiful presentation with your meals. This recipe looks nice, simple & yummy. I love the red & green colors together. Pretty!

  9. Tell us about your garden problems! We are having issues too--Japanese beetles ate all our beans and bore-ing (not boring, ha ha) insects killed our zucchini (and were totally DISGUSTING to boot). We were about ready to just pave the whole backyard and be done with it. So I would love to hear about someone else's struggles.

  10. The attention to detail with the cloth napkins, Nasturtiums, tumbler of wine, fresh-picked Basil. The Beans are so fat and green! I've just been staring and staring at these pics for two days. I may make the second pic my wallpaper.

  11. Hey Everyone,

    Thanks for your comments. :)

  12. Stacy:

    Garden Problems! Well, I haven't had too much bother with insects eating crops, but a couple of strange things. First, my squash is a wash! The problem is that, although I've been hand-pollinating them, the squash are still fading on the vine as if they weren't pollinated. So, I've gotten a scant zucchini harvest, which is not that big of a deal, but I had high hope for the winter squash. As it stands, I have 4 squash growing to maturity, but I had pollinated about 15 total...all the rest just faded. I always hand pollinate my squash, and I've never had this problem before.

    The other thing was with the fava beans. The plants grew tall and had loads of pods, which got nice and big and fat and it looked like they were full of beans on the inside, because you could see indentations in the pod. But, when I harvested them, 70% of the beans had nothing inside; just that furry lining and no beans, or maybe a single bean.

    I won't get much of a potato pull either...but that's nothing new, I've never been able to get a good potato harvest.

    Sounds like you've got mainly insect problems...I haven't had insect problems with those crops around, I don't have any particularly sage advice, but we can co-miserate together. I'm sure we're not alone in garden problems...even master gardeners and farmers etc. have challenges and disappointments.

    Have you tried the row covers? Also, maybe you could try spraying your crops with compost tea and/or a solution of seaweed extract. They say stronger plants are more resistant to not only diseases, but also pests! Seems counter-intuitive...seems like the bugs would like to eat the healthier plants even more.

    Anyway, good luck with the garden...don't pave it over that would be sad. :( Take heart, you're not alone in garden woes! :)

  13. Yum...Yum...Yum! This sounds fantastic and is such a pretty dish! I love those mini quiches! I started to make them Sunday night, but I decided to make Happy Herbivores quiche.

  14. Thanks, Rose! It does help to hear about others' struggles, esp when they are great gardeners like you.
    I did not mention that (so far) our tomatoes look amazing, we've been up to our butts in greens (kale and lettuce), and we have beets, garlic, and carrots for the first time. Gotta focus on the positive, I guess. I don't naturally do that :).
    As far as the problems are concerned, we are going to start using row covers more seriously and are going to spray with neem oil once it quits raining (that stuff is expensive). We've been hand-picking the beetles, which is kind of gross and not very vegan. Good call on the compost tea, too (we've got some a-brewin' as we speak).
    We have always had issues with squirrels and raccoons but the insect infestation is a new one for us. To try to keep the squirrels from running off with our tomatoes (they wait until they are nice and ripe, the dirty bastards!!!), my husband put netting AND chicken wire all around our tomato teepees. Basically our backyard looks like a POW camp :). We'll see how well it works. If it does work, we have about 30 tomato plants, all loaded with tomatoes and we'll have to can like there's no tomorrow.

  15. PS that is just weird about the favas. Ghost favas!!

  16. Hey, Rose, you sure know how to make favas look great! About a year ago, I told you how I fumbled some fresh favas, and they didn't turn out the greatest. But these look good, girl.

  17. Michelle:

    HH recipe looks good too! I checked it out after you posted about it. I'll give that a try next.


    Sounds like you've got a really productive garden! Beets, carrots, kale, lettuce, tomatoes...what a bounty! I tried the neem oil once, I can't remember what the problem was exactly, but thanks for reminding me of it.

    A POW tomato camp! Lol, I can just picture it. Raccoons and squirrels are so clever. I've read that flashing lights (like a string of Christmas lights) will scare raccoons, not sure about squirrels though.


    You're back!! Yaay! Good to hear from you! :)

  18. How did I miss this post? (Oh, I remember. It showed up during our crazed weekend/Monday and I never saw it on my dashboard before it got buried. I should just subscribe so this won't happen again!)

    I'll sound like an echo...cho...cho... but what a beautiful, colorful, fresh and absolutely delicious looking meal! I have never seen fresh fava beans for sale anywhere around here. Can you think of a good sub? Edamame, maybe? I know it wouldn't be the same...

    I look forward to the day when I can relax and kick back in my kitchen, with time to try new recipes again and not worry about the mess it might make or the aromas it might leave behind. Living in a for-sale house is the absolute pits. It may be next summer before I can try this, but I've bookmarked it for future reference. Maybe by then we'll be growing our own fava beans, or sailing to places that have grocery stores and farmer's market that are worth a flip!

    Our zucchini are insane. Tons of blossoms and plants so huge they look like they're the victims of a Miracle Grow spill, but hardly any actual zucchini, and what are there are growing imperceptibly! I think it's been a tough year, for all sorts of reasons, for gardens nearly everywhere. You're right, it's a blessing for most of us to be eating well these days! But no one is eating as prettily as you are. :-)

  19. Laurie:

    I think edamame would be a good sub, or butter beans. And, I hope have a new kitchen all your own and not on display very soon! Zucchinis are behaving oddly in my garden too. Guess it's just the year for it. ttys. :)

  20. Roasted tomatoes are so luscious — it's hard to imagine them any other way after trying them. In Seattle turning on the oven is no problem, but in Wisconsin I'd have to think twice about doing that — maybe three times. :)

    Are the favas from your garden? I was going to ask you where you found them because I'd like to try preparing fresh ones. You didn't mention how long it took you to get the skins off which is probably a good thing for encouraging lazy cooks like myself to try it.

    BTW, your photos are beautiful!

  21. Andrea:

    Hey, welcome back to Seattle! Some change in temps between here and Wisconsin! I imagine it's sort of a relief though...if only to sleep in cooler temps at night.

    The favas are from my garden, but I saw some fresh ones at PCC not too long ago and also at the Phinney market 2 weeks ago. Hopefully, they're still some around.

    Once you blanche them, it doesn't take long to get the skins off, well, depending on how many favas you have that is. The skins pinch off quite easily...for a small to medium bunch of beans it'll probably take a couple of minutes.

  22. I've never had green favas. And I'm definitely going to try out those quiches. So cute.

  23. That meal is sooooo vibrant in color! I just can't seem to enjoy the taste of fava's but I'm gald many do.
    Sorry about garden issues. Some of my squash's didn't grow but my tomato plants have overtaken the garden's so crazy!

  24. What a lovely plate of food. I've never had fresh fava beans; I must rectify this!


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