Spring Ragout

20-30 fava beans
extra virgin olive oil
fine grain sea salt
1 bunch thin asparagus, cut into 1/2-inch segments
1 1/2 cups peas, freshly shelled or frozen
zest of one lemon
splash of cream
pecorino or Parmesan cheese


Cook fava beans for about a minute in a pot of salted water. Drain, run under cold water, and shell 2nd layer. To do this pinch each fava to break the skin and gently squeeze to separate the bean from the skin. Set aside.

In a cold skillet big splash of olive oil, 2 big pinches of salt, and 2 tablespoons of water. Heat over medium high heat and when the water starts bubbling add the asparagus spears. Cover and cook for 30-45 seconds, longer if the asparagus is thicker until it is barely tender and bright green. Stir in the peas peas and cook uncovered for another 20 seconds or so (maybe a touch longer if you were using peas that were frozen). Stir in the lemon zest, the tiniest splash of cream, and serve garnished with edible flowers.
Serves 4.

Serving suggestions:

– ladle over a serving of pan-fried gnocchi.
– serve in a shallow bowl of simple broth with a drizzle of good olive oil and a sprinkling of grated cheese.
– spoon over a family-style quiche or frittata.
– mix into a bowl of short pasta for a twist on pasta salad.
– as a component in a ravioli salad
– Inside crepes or omelettes

From 101 Cookbooks; author’s note: While I used fava beans, peas, and asparagus here, feel free to explore other spring ingredients. The only thing to be mindful of is cooking times – some vegetables will take more time to cook than others. For example peas are going to cook much more quickly than a thick cut of asparagus or potato. One way to even the playing field (so to speak) is to cut ingredients into into like sizes, or cook each ingredient seperately and combine them in the end. Keep your eyes peeled for baby spring carrots, fiddle heads, baby squash, morel mushrooms, baby artichokes (trimmed and quartered), and/or tiny potatoes. All would be right at home in a dish like this.