I am currently in the Basque Country. We will be here for a few weeks this summer.
We arrived to beautiful weather and lush landscape. Still recovering from jet-lag, we have slowly been taking strolls in old familiar places and mainly, spending time with my family.
I want to share with you the recipe for a dish I have been making quite a bit this spring. A dish that my mom used to cook for us all the time as soon as favas and peas made an appearance. Some might call it a warm salad but this for us was more of a menestra – a first course of vegetables.
As you know, favas and peas for that matter, have a short season. Take full advantage of it. Favas come in their plush and velvety pods. The bean itself, is also covered in a pale green layer that I like to peel. It is edible but it can be quite tough especially with larger beans. The inside bean is bright green, buttery and tender – meatier than peas. In the Basque Country, they are usually served simply with Serrano. Similar to this recipe.
Sauteed leeks in olive oil, blanched peas and favas, garlic scapes, chive flowers, a bit of watercress, prosciutto or Serrano and a dab of crème fraîche.
Oh yes, and a fried egg on top. Like this one. Not classic, but I couldn’t help myself.
I will continue to blog from the Basque Country for a bit. Also a trip to Iceland and Denmark on the horizon.
Be back soon.
Favas and peas with prosciutto and fried egg
serves 4 to 6
1 pound (450 g) fava beans, shelled and peeled
1 pound (450 g) English peas, shelled
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium leek, sliced
3 garlic scapes or garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 slices prosciutto or Serrano
1 cup watercress, washed
1/4 cup chopped herbs such as mint, parsley and chives
1/4 cup (60 ml) crème fraîche
Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Season with a generous amount of salt and add the favas and peas. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes and drain in a colander. I usually pick up one and taste it to see how done it is. I like mine all dente.
Heat a saute pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil, leeks and garlic scape stalks or garlic if that’s all you have. Cook until tender but not browned. Add the cooked favas and peas and season with salt. Stir the mixture to coat all vegetables with oil. Turn off the heat and add the prosciutto. The heat of the pan will slightly wilt it but not cook it.
In a small saute pan, fry the egg in olive oil following this method.
Transfer the vegetable mixture onto a platter and serve with watercress, herbs and small dollops of crème fraîche. Top with egg. Serve immediately.