Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Garden photo of the week

Fava bean seedling
Originally uploaded by stiber.
We plant our fava beans in early October each year for harvest in late spring. The new seedlings are just coming up now. It only occasionally drops below freezing here in the Seattle area, so the plants have no trouble (they're supposed to be hardy down to around 20 degrees Fahrenheit, I believe). They'll flower in early spring, filling the garden with a wonderful, sweet scent. In June, shortly before it's time to plant warm weather crops, they'll be ready to harvest.

We like to harvest the beans when they're large and thus need to be peeled after cooking (this is after shelling; the beans themselves have a thick skin). Our usual approach is to quickly blanch them in boiling water, let them cool, then slip them out of their skins. We then saute them in olive oil with garlic, chopped onion, chopped tomato, and whatever seasonings strike our fancy.

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