I made a bean salad the other day with dried beans I had picked up down at Reading Terminal Market. Real simple – soak beans overnight, cook, drain, make stuff. I also had some dried fava beans that were a gift, so I decided to soak those as well – and make something with them.
Fava Beans – or broad beans as they were once known – have what amounts to two shells – the outer pod that holds x-amount of beans – and a covering over each bean. The covering is edible. It’s just not very good. It’s tough and totally detracts from the silky bean within. With fresh beans, it’s rather easy to just pop the bean out of the covering. With dried favas, it’s not. They have to be soaked and then cooked – and then the second covering comes off – making for a mushy bean.
I made my bean salad with the good beans and set the fava-mush aside.
Today, I decided that I would make a refried bean of sorts – and then I looked over to the three eggplants in the basket. An idea came to mind – a roasted eggplant and fava bean refried bean of sorts!
I took a medium eggplant and put it whole on the grill outside and let it cook for about 45 minutes. I let it cool, put all of the innards into the food processor along with the fava-mush and gave it a whirl. Next, I added some olive tapenade, roasted garlic, fresh herbs form the garden, Grains of Paradise, salt and pepper, and processed it until smooth. It then went into a skillet to heat through and thicken just a bit.
In another skillet, I added some cut up sausage – one roasted red pepper and one broccoli rabe and provolone – and then added escarole, garlic, red pepper flakes, and some S&P. I cooked it all down and added a splash of white wine.
The eggplant and favas had a bit of a muddy color, but the flavor was outstanding! It was rich and creamy without being rich and creamy – lots of fiber and protein and potassium.
It came out really good!