I remember an old record my dad used to play. He was Puerto Rican, relocated to the Northwest for a job in the 50's, met my mom here, and settled down. He had this funky old collection of Latin American LPs; romantic, sappy, dramatic numbers. We all loved them, but 8 year old me would crack up when I'd hear the line "perfume de gardenias-da-da-da-dee-tiene tu boca" (your mouth smells like gardenias). Really! Well, that is what love is all about. When the benefit of the doubt overrides and the stinky socks are a joy, just because they smell like your beloved, and maybe even a little like gardenias.
Have I told you that fava beans smell like gardenia? They really do! Especially in the evenings, which is so romantic. They probably smell more like sweet peas, but regardless, they do have a heady perfume, enough to make you fall in love. Enough to make you look past the tedium of harvesting, shelling, blanching, and shelling again, just to get the luscious green bean at the very center. That's the commitment. Don't let anyone talk you out of this.
Beans, in general, are great fun (and some work) to shell, dry and store. Favas are best and most special fresh, so you'll want to freeze them. Prepare by removing only the big outside shell but not the light green inner jacket, blanch, drain well, and spread in a single layer on sheet pan and freeze. Put into ziplocks when frozen. When you're ready to use some, just thaw, or put under hot water for a bit, and pop them out of their inside shells and cook as you normally would. During the many coming months of fava drought, you will have a lot of love in your freezer.
Pasta with Fava Beans, Roasted Asparagus, Goat Cheese, Garlic and Smoked Salmon
6 oz elbow pasta (or other tube shape)
3 T Goat Cheese (or TJ's non dairy cr cheese, for peeps like me)
6 cloves Roasted Garlic
3 spears Asparagus, cut into 1" lengths
1 c fava beans, blanched and removed from inside shell
1 medium juicy tomato, diced
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 oz smoked salmon (not lox)
Roast garlic cloves by tossing with olive oil, sprinkling with salt and pepper, wrapping in foil and baking at 350 until fragrant.
Prepare pasta per package directions; drain. Add cheese and stir until cheese makes a creamy sauce with the pasta. Salt and pepper.
In a hot pan, add olive oil, then sear the asparagus until tender and browned. Toss into pasta. Add a bit more olive oil to the same pan, and add the favas, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Saute for a couple minutes to heat and meld the flavors.
Toss all into pasta, then add the salmon and tomato as well and mix. Taste for seasoning.