Frittata with Fresh Fava
Frittata con Fave
Italy is the
world’s biggest produce of fava beans. In Sicily and in
all southern Italian regions fava is a largely cultivated bean; in season is consummated fresh and cooked in a
variety of ways or dried, stored and used in the cold months.
The fava beans
are planted in the cold season and harvested from April to the end of June. Fava are cultivated in many
varieties some for human consumption others for fodder.
Fava beans are
grown in large quantity in Castroville, California by
the Ocean Mist Farms and available in supermarkets from May to November.
Fava beans are
much sought-after in low calorie diets, and for other medicinal properties. In fact because of the variety of
minerals and vitamins content, fava are beneficial for anemic people, also a tea made from the fava’s dry leaves
is an excellent diuretic; what's more because of the high content of levodopa, the fava beans are a natural
remedy to alleviate the effects of the Parkinson Disease.
Fava beans are
versatile: they can be eaten raw with pecorino cheese as a snack or as an appetizer, as a contorno, that is a
side dish, in soups, to prepare the Sicilian “macco”, with pasta, or with eggs to make a delicious
frittata.The frocia or
frittata with fava is often cooked in season all over Sicily, especially
in rural zones, where fava beans are abundant and easily availablable.
Serves 4 to
lb. fresh fava beans in pods
4 scallions. Washed, skin, tips
and ends removed; green and white parts chopped.
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Remove fava from their
Bring a medium size pot of
water to a boil; add a little salt and plunge beans into boiling water. Cook for 5 minutes then using a slotted
spoon, transfer into a bowl with cold water. Drain beans, then gently peel, discard skin and set on the
At a high heat,
in a non stick frying skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the scallions. Sauté for 2 minutes, then
add the fava beans and cook for an additional 5 minutes, turning frequently. Set on the side.
4 tablespoons of olive oil
½ cup of pecorino cheese,
grated (8 tablespoons)
¼ cup of bread crumbs (4
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon finely cut
In a large bowl,
lightly beat 5 eggs; fold in ½ of the cheese and ½ of the breadcrumbs. Add the parsley, salt, and
previously used skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and swirl the oil in the pan. When the oil is hot, remove
from the heat, and slowly pour the egg mixture into it.
Return to the
heat and cook for 3 minutes at a medium heat.
the frittata covered at a low heat from 7 to 10
minutes, shaking and tilting the skillet often to prevent it from sticking to the bottom, and occasionally
rotate a spatula around the edge of the skillet preventing the frittata from sticking to the sides. When the
bottom of the frittata is cooked, cover it with a dish the same size of the skillet; turn it upside down onto
the plate and over a dish to collect eventual drippings. Set on the side.
In the same
large bowl, lightly beat the 3 eggs, put and fold in the remaining cheese and breadcrumbs, add salt and pepper
remaining tablespoons of oil, until it starts to smoke. Remove the skillet from the heat, and pour in the egg
mixture. Cook for 1 minute and sprinkle over the sautéed fava beans; then slowly slide in the frittata into the
skillet, uncooked side down; reduce the heat to a medium and cook for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until
the bottom of the egg mixture is set.
Transfer to a
serving plate, cool it briefly, cut into wedges and dish it up as an appetizer or if served as main course, add
a salad, fresh Italian bread and a young Californian Chablis wine to make a complete dinner.