Fresh Fava with Pecorino
By Chef John Ash
This is an ancient recipe from the Emilia-Romagna region of Northern Italy. It celebrates spring with both new green Favas and the white young sheep’s milk cheeses which are made at that time. Do not use an aged grating cheese like pecorino romano. I remember cafes all over this region serving this both as an appetizer or as the cheese course following the meat course. I’ve blanched the Favas here but if you can find them very fresh, young and tender, do as the Italians do and eat them raw.
Total Time 20 minutes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Difficulty Level Easy
4 lb fresh, young unshelled fava beans
1 lb young, fresh sheep's milk cheese from Italy such as fiore sardo
Fresh sheep Ricotta from Bellweather Farms
Fruity extra virgin olive oil, preferably Olio Nuovo
Fresh lemon wedges
Fresh ground pepper
Coarse sea salt
Rustic with bread with a good crust and texture such as Ciabatta
Shell the favas and discard pods. Drop beans into boiling salted water and cook for 1-2 minutes. Drain and immediately plunge into ice water. Drain again and remove tough outer skin from each bean. Place beans in a bowl.
In whatever combination you like - serve thin slices of good fresh cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, a drop or two of lemon juice, freshly ground pepper and a few grains of salt on top of a slice of good crusty peasant bread!