Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Have you ever traveled too much or had too many guests that you feel like you just can’t keep up?

Well, that’s how I’ve been feeling since our aunt visited us in Warsaw in early May. The last two months have been a whirlwind of trips and guests, and I know I probably shouldn’t complain. At last, we have slowed down…for the time being, and I can catch up on my neglected blog. Sorry guys!

And I’m finally back in the kitchen whipping up a few goodies, so I thought I would share my recent recipe.

Last week, I went to my favorite farmer’s market at Hala Mirowska for the third time that week and decided to purchase a kilo of  already peeled Polish bób (aka: broad or fava beans). I was inspired after having a beautiful burrata salad with fresh Polish bób (funny name) at the cutest wine bar, Ale Wino! (my recent discovery), in the trendy Mokotowska neighborhood. 
Polish bób and burrata salad at Ale Wino! in Warsaw. 
I’ve never prepared the beans this way at home before because the peeling process is a pain in the butt, but I figured I would give it a go…at least once. As I mentioned to my readers on My Traveling Joys Facebook page, I prepared Polish bób perhaps for the first and last time. One kilo of the fava beans = 700 grams of peeled fava beans, which I guess is a much better yield than shelling peas!

I followed these instructions on The Kitchn: How to clean and peel the fava beans. Some readers mentioned that they don’t do the second peeling process, but my beans were looking a bit older and the skins seemed tough.
My dear readers also suggested a variety of ways to cook my precious Polish bób such as this Cold Bób Salad from Lois of the Polish Housewife blog and this Turkish meze from Ozlem’s Turkish Table of Broad Beans Dip with Dill and Red Peppers (Zeytinyagli, Kirmizi Biberli Fava). Using the fava beans in salads seemed to be the most popular option as well as a dip or serving them in a risotto or pasta. In the end, I reserved half of the fava beans to serve with my own version of a burrata salad.

Luckily, we have a fantastic Italian grocery store here called Piccola Italia & Mediterraneo located in Centrum Warsaw where I can stock up on Italian cheeses and meats as well as pasta, ravioli, sundried tomatoes and more. This is where I bought the burrata cheese, which is a fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream. It’s divine!

At home, I seasoned the fava beans with fresh herbs from our balcony garden, really good Italian extra virgin olive oil, French fleur de sel and freshly ground black pepper. Toss and arrange everything together and you’ll have a beautiful salad bowl that will almost be too pretty to eat!

Polish Bób (Fava Beans) and Burrata Salad
Yields: A generous portion for 2 hungry people

300-350           grams   cleaned, peeled Polish bób (broad or fava beans)
1                      ball of fresh Italian burrata cheese
12                    cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1                      Tablespoon Italian olive oil and a little more for garnish
1                      Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¼                     cup      fresh herbs, finely chopped (basil, dill, Italian parsley and a bit of mint)
To taste           salt (fleur de sel) and freshly ground black pepper
Optional:         edible flowers such as chive blossoms, pansies or nasturtiums for garnish
                        1 Tablespoon toasted pine nuts

If you have older fava beans like I did, you’ll definitely want to blanch and peel off the second skin.

If your fava beans seem a little too al dente after you peel them, you’ll need to simmer the beans 2-5 minutes in boiling, salted water. Mine seemed tender enough after I peeled them so I skipped this step.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the herbs.

Place the seasoned fava beans in a large salad bowl. Toss the cherry tomatoes into the previous bowl. Season with salt and pepper as needed.

Then, place the burrata in the middle of the fava beans. Arrange the seasoned tomatoes around the cheese.

Drizzle a bit more of olive oil over the burrata. Garnish with edible flowers and toasted pine nuts.

To serve, divide the burrata in half and disperse the beans and tomatoes between two bowls. Enjoy!
This burrata salad is hubby approved!
This is just one of my herb containers on our balcony. I love having my fresh herbs and these cherry tomatoes right outside our kitchen!

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jaz@octoberfarm said...

this looks so good! i made favas once. they are a lot of work and i never see them peeled here.

Joy said...

@Joyce, and can you imagine 1 kilo for less than $2 of fava beans?