Torta di Carciofi e Fave
Fresh fava beans are a special treat, they are, like fresh peas and artichokes a true sign of spring. They are falling off of the vegetable trucks here, in a huge piles ready for the grabbing. I have never done much with fava beans in the past, they weren’t so readily available in the markets in Rome, but in Puglia everything seems to grow with more vigor.
Fava beans have been at the tables in this part of the world since before the Greeks and the Romans. In Puglia they are eaten all year long, dried for soups and the famous purea di fave con cicoria which is the ultimate comfort food. I found this beautiful recipe in Cucina Italiana and with the abundance of artichokes and favas in the markets, I loved the idea of this elaborate frittata.
Torta di carciofi e fave alla menta
translated and adapted from La Cucina Italiana
- 200g (7 oz) shelled fava beans
- 100g (1/2 cup) milk
- 8 eggs
- 4 artichokes
- fresh mint
- 2 tbsp grated grana padana cheese
- 1 cup dry white wine
- extra-virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
Blanch the favas for 1 minute in boiling water, peel each bean when they have cooled enough to not burn your fingers.
Clean the artichokes by eliminating their outer leaves; you can do this by bending them and snapping them off. Do this until you get to the leaves that are lighter in color. Cut off the tip of the central cone, to eliminate the tougher green end of the leaves. Cut the heart in half and scoop out the inside chokes with a knife or a small spoon. Cut the heart of the artichoke into thin slices and immerse in the lemon water. You can do this a few hours ahead of time.
Heat oil in a deep skillet or a wide saucepan over medium heat and add the clove of garlic. When the garlic starts to sizzle, add the artichoke slices, stir to absorb the oil and then add the white wine and a few sprigs of parsley. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the fava beans and salt to taste and cook for an additional 5 to 6 minutes.
Mix the eggs with the milk, the grana padana, salt, pepper and a few minced leaves of fresh mint. Add the artichokes and the fava beans, after eliminating the garlic and the parsley.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
The original recipe is for a frittata, without a crust, but I decided to make this a quiche and used a store bought puff pastry crust. Pour the mix into a greased mold or into a puff pastry in a pie pan. Place in the center of the oven for about 35 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.