Food Buzz

Because maybe you do care what I had for lunch...

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Fava stew with lamb and pistachios

Oh fava, must you be so difficult? Why do you need a pod and that little slipcover? It's enough to make me want to write the manufacturer and complain about the excess packaging. Honestly, as soon as I find a store that sells pre-skinned frozen fava beans I'll buy a whole armload.

I'm never quite sure what to write when I have an evening like this. I could tell you about how I made the stew and realized, around 7:30, that I'd neglected to skin the fava beans, how I threw the beans in the freezer while I made the salad and how I then spent 20 minutes skinning the beans and throwing them back into the stew. I want those 20 minutes of my life back, by the way.

Instead I'll tell you how I wish I'd made the stew. First start by browning two small lamb chops in a little oil. Add some minced garlic (2-3 cloves), soften in the oil, and then add 2 cups water and the following whole spices in a cheesecloth bundle:

1 tablespoon cardamom pods
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon cumin seeds

Simmer covered for about 30 minutes. Add 1 bag frozen fava beans. Simmer for another 30 minutes. Remove chops and put in freezer too cool. Mash beans with potato masher for a chunky stew. Chop lamb into small pieces and add to stew. Then stir in 1 cup crushed pistachios and a little lemon juice just before serving.

My salad was basically a tabbouleh without the grains. I finely chopped one huge tomato, one cucumber, half a red onion, and some parsley and dressed with some olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Incidentally, the lovely Cherokee purple makes the perfect fall transition tomato -- it tastes quite a bit like pumpkin.

The stew was actually pretty good once I finally finished it. I just love those green flavors -- fava, cardamom, and pistachio -- together. I have to say, though, this is the weirdest photo composition I think I've ever posted. What's with the spoon angle and the prominently-placed white plate, for starters? Now you can see my mental state by the time I finally got dinner on the table.


liz said...

hehe it does reflect the words of your post. i like that about it. it's in the moment, if you will.

ticklethepear said...

Now that we're back in the US we've got to have a Moroccan food extravaganza!

shaunamama said...

The stew sounds lovely. Is it just me or does Anthony Hopkins' voice pop into your head everytime you hear the word 'fava?'

Adriana Velez said...

LOL, I was just thinking about Silence of the Lambs while I was making the stew. EVERY time I hear fava, every single time! He is inescapable.