there is something about fall that makes me crave simplicity. simple joys like walking down our street and looking up at the remaining colorful leaves in the trees or biting into a first-of-the-season washington apple. there are so many wonderful seasonal flavors to enjoy during the fall! lingering heirloom tomatoes and chili peppers from the farmers market. the arrival of fall squash and pumpkin. bountiful leafy greens... all things i love to enjoy simply prepared.
tomorrow i am teaching a private cooking lesson with a focus on mediterranean cuisine. i am quite excited! we'll be sampling flavors and dishes from morocco, egypt, cyprus and turkey... four countries i've spent collectively about half a year living/traveling in. i had quite a bit of fun designing this cooking lesson and day dreaming about past adventures. while putting together my menu and recipes, i realized how simple mediterranean food can be. when you have delicious seasonal ingredients, you don't need a lot of frill or flair. you just need a bit of intuition and a few basic cooking skills in order to craft a delicious and nourishing meal. i suppose the ability to artfully plate a pile of wilted greens and smushed beans only adds to the enjoyment of simple foods.
a bit about this dish... fūl, or ful medames, is a traditional egyptian dish served often for breakfast or lunch. cooked fava beans are blended with simple spices, oil and lemon juice (almost like a warm hummus) topped with diced vegetables, herbs or boiled eggs. there are tons of different versions, this is just my favorite pairing. fava beans and chard!
fava bean fūl – serves 2-4
2 cups cooked fava beans
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup tahini
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 cloves garlic, crushed
½ cup chopped tomatoes for garnish (optional)
¼ cup parsley for garnish (optional)
1 large bunch rainbow chard
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons water
2 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ teaspoon aleppo pepper
salt to taste
gently mash fava beans with a fork. heat olive oil in a sauté pan over low heat. warm the fava beans and add the remaining ingredients. cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes and continue to mash until smooth.
sauté garlic in olive oil and add chard and water and sauté over medium heat until water is evaporated and greens are tender. season to taste. to plate, spread fava bean mixture onto a platter and top with sautéed chard. garnish with aleppo pepper, chopped tomatoes, chillies, parsley, hard boiled eggs or chopped red onion.