FAVA BEAN, WHITE CORN, AND WILD MUSHROOM SUCCOTASH
Welcome to Michael's
This dish is one of my favorites for spring. Fortunately, in California, we get early spring corn and beautiful chanterelles and morels that make this combination possible. For those of you who aren't so lucky, make it in the summer, using any wild mushrooms or even cultivated shiitakes that are available.
• 1 pound fresh fava beans in the pod
• 3 tablespoons salted butter
• 1/2 pound morels or chanterelles, cleaned thoroughly and trimmed
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1/4 cup finely diced sweet onion, such as Walla Walla, Vidalia, Texas Sweet, or Maui
• Kernels from 2 ears fresh white corn
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
Remove the fava beans from their pods. Set aside.
Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add the beans and blanch for no more than 1 minute for the largest beans. Remove from the heat and drain well. Rinse under cold running water and pat dry.
Working with one bean at a time and using your fingertips, pull a bit of the tough skin from the top of the bean and then push the bean out of the skin. It should come out whole. Set the beans aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper to taste. Saute for about 4 minutes or just until softened. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mushrooms to a plate.
Add another tablespoon of butter to the saute pan. Add the onions and season with salt. Let the onions sweat their liquid for about 3 minutes or until soft but still colorless. Add the.remaining butter along with the corn and saute for 3 minutes. Stir in the fava beans and continue to saute for another couple of minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the tarragon and serve immediately or keep warm until ready to serve.
I remember eating my first fava beans in Brittany. I was used to nasty canned lima beans, and I couldn't believe how formidable fresh feves were - une merveille.
Fava beans are labor-intensive to prepare. Most people run from "fava detail," but I've found that you can usually draft the same friends who enjoy shucking peas or plucking thyme leaves from their sprigs. And all that hard work is really worth it. Peel on, dude!