Thinking green

Look at the amazing light that streams through the side of our house (well, the windows on the side–we do have walls) in the late afternoon:


I sat in a pool of that light to shuck my fava beans in preparation for dinner, and was delighted as always by their color and the fuzzy insides of the pods and the sleek little jackets on the beans:


And after I blanched them (two minutes in salted boiling water, then into a cold bath) and peeled them, they were even brighter:


Sadly I didn’t know quite what to do with them. I had the halibut and asparagus, as I said before…I envisioned a scattered shower of the favas over the fish, with the asparagus on the side, but didn’t know how to prepare the beans. I decided to just sauté them with a little olive oil and lemon zest, and see what happened.

(BTW, this is written from the US Airways (ugh) terminal at LaGuardia, where I am waiting and waiting for delayed and canceled flights back up north. I just ate a shameful fast food dinner, lest you think I’m actually healthy and home-cookish all the time.)

What happened was that they got a little mushy (even after mere seconds) an stopped being quite so green. Oops. I drenched them in lemon juice (more de-greening) and let them sit while I did everything else.

I put some more lemon zest on the halibut, which I had clumsily divided into two servings.


The asparagus I tossed with lots of oil, salt and pepper, and grilled for about 8 minutes, until it was tender (a little too tender, for the skinny ones! It was a very irregular batch of asparagus) and nicely charred. Mmmm.


We ate that room temperature, since I was waiting for Ben to get back from a night class, and had everything except the fish ready to go when he got home. I was scared to cook fish, which I’ve never done before. I put some olive oil, salt and pepper on the flesh side of the fish, and started it on the grill with that side down. I cooked it about 5 minutes face down, then put it skin-side down for another…4 or 5 minutes? It was just barely cooked; I should have left it another minute, at least. Still, not horrible for a first try!


Eaten on the porch by candlelight, it was a very fresh and springy dinner. I need to work on my fish technique, and next time I want to make a fava purée. So green!

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