I love Lidia Bastianich. She has an amazing story, cooks incredible food, doesn't get too fusion-y with her food, and her recipes are bonafide. And, I love watching her show on television if she's on when I'm around a TV. I much prefer reading to TV - which I haven't owned in decades - so I don't watch shows too often but I do love watching her, Jacques Pepin, Hubert Keller, and a couple of others. So Lidia had - as she often does - her mum on the show once. And she was cooking while her mum entertained with stories of Lidia's cooking escapades. Apparently, Lidia started cooking when she was 4 - 5 yrs. old, for her dolls! She'd make different dishes everyday for her dolls - SO ADORABLE!!! How can that visual not make anyone smile? It's so cute!
Anyway so I never plan meals... I buy things then make meals around whatever I've found at the market. I'd already bought plenty of greens so I didn't need yet another bunch of anything to stir-fry or make into soup or smoothies... but the fava greens were too pretty to pass up. Especially because they're very much a spring thing, available for a short time since the young leafy tops and flowers of the plant are the best tasting. So if you can find some in the farmer's market, do get them.
So I had the last bit of walnuts in the fridge, the fava greens that were not meant to be anything specific, a few Meyer lemons from a gracious coworker's tree, a couple of leftover garlic cloves I'd roasted for a soup, and some fresh spearmint. I decided to throw it all together in a blender and call it done. And I'm so glad I did! From here on, this clean and bright-on-the-palate pesto is my favourite way of enjoying the earthy buttery flavour of fava greens! Unlike basil pestos, this one doesn't dull in colour so no need for covering with a layer of oil. If you don't have fava greens, use spinach or a combination of spinach and arugula (rocket leaves). And use a regular lemon or any variety of lemons.
To quickly roast garlic, put a few cloves skin-on in a pan and roast on medium-high heat turning occasionally until the garlic is soft and blackened in spots. This won't take more than 5-7 minutes.
Pesto of Fava (Broad) Bean Greens
makes: 1 cup
- 4 cups washed fava greens (leaves, flowers, and tender stems only)
- 1/2 cup mint leaves, washed
- 2-3 cloves roasted garlic
- 1 Meyer lemon, juiced
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- Put everything in a blender and blend into a smooth pesto.
- Taste and adjust salt and pepper to taste.
- Store in the fridge for up to a week.