Fresh Fava Stew
Photo: Carolina Ayala / Contributor
A good friend, who also happens to be a national food authority, was in town last weekend and I took her around all my favorite places in Houston. We visited the cheese shop, Houston Dairymaids, the local farmer’s market Saturday morning, among other things but the place that blew her away was the Houston Farmer’s Market on Airline Blvd. “There is nothing like this in New York City”, she declared, with great enthusiasm. While I have visited that market many times, never on a Saturday, when it is lined with outdoor food stands selling everything from pupusas to tacos. It’s lively and festive and bursting with hard-to-find produce like rambutan, purslane and fresh fava beans. Sacks of varieties of dried chiles and bowls of mole bases are placed next to rows and rows of special dried herbs like chamomile, elderberry or echinacea. Lot of the produce is local, but much is also imported from Mexico.
Here is a fresh fava curry that can be adapted to be eaten just as a soup, topped with yogurt, herbs, nuts and greens or with a side of rice or bread. Fava beans are rich in fiber and minerals like iron and manganese but the real reason to eat them is because they are simply delicious. Just like most stews or curries, it is best enjoyed at least a couple of hours after all the ingredients has had time to chill together and mellow out.