Buckwheat Pilaf With Fava Beans And Spring Vegetables
Wednesday, 6 May 2009
Every year in April and May, the California farmers’ markets begin sprouting all types of spring vegetables, from fava beans to sugar-snap peas, broccoli and young asparagus, and bunches of spring onions and green garlic. Spring is when these vegetables are at their tastiest, when they are fresh and new. I have only prepared fava beans a handful of times, because the process can be quite labor-intensive. But they are worth the effort if you’ve ever had them. So I decided to roll up all these vegetables (minus the asparagus, but you may try it if you like) into one delicious vegan, gluten-free meal – a buckwheat and spring vegetable pilaf. I had originally planned to make teff-wraps out of it, using La Tortilla Factory dark teff tortillas, but it ended up turning out to be a large amount of food on its own and not necessary to heat the wraps (which were delicious on their own, all warm and rolled up:).
1 lb. fava beans, prepared (below)
1 cup sugar-snap pea pods, stems removed
1 broccoli crown
1 stalk green garlic, chopped
1 spring onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, pressed
2 T olive oil
1/2 cup raw buckwheat groats
1-1/2 cups filtered water
1/2 tsp salt
1 pinch cayenne
Fresh cracked pepper
Preparing the Fava Beans
Ok, this is the time-consuming part. First you have to shuck the beans from their large pods, and place them in a large metal strainer or colander. Boil some water in a large saucepan, while filling another large bowl with ice water. Dip the fava beans into the boiling water for about 20 seconds to blanch, then place immediately into ice water to stop them from cooking. Once they are cooled completely, start peeling the white, waxy layer off the beans to reveal the inner green part, which is the part you eat. Park yourself on the couch in front of the TV while you’re doing this, or better yet, sit outside on the patio enjoying the afternoon sun. This step can be done ahead of time, just refrigerate the peeled green beans.
Now it’s time to start cooking the buckwheat. Heat 1-1/2 cups filtered water to boiling, add the buckwheat groats and 1/4 tsp salt, turn the heat down low and set the timer for 15 minutes. While the buckwheat is cooking, prepare and chop the vegetables. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy skillet and saute the onions and green garlic, adding the pressed garlic cloves a couple minutes later. When garlic is fragrant, add the remaining vegetables and a few tablespoons of water. Cover and simmer for 3-4 minutes until vegetables are just tender but still vibrant green, then add the cooked buckwheat and fava beans and toss with a pinch of cayenne, fresh cracked pepper, and the remaining 1/4 tsp salt. Serve while hot and enjoy!