Posted for Zaar World Tour 2005. This is an Italian side dish, despite the use of a bouquet garni, which is French. I've changed the instructions to use canned fava beans. Vegetables and starch in one healthy, quick, low-fat recipe. From Vegetarian Times Cooks Mediterranean. I have not tried this yet. Update: Tried this with 15 ounces spinach as per Toni's suggestion. It was quite good - BF liked it too. After 30 minutes the water in the beans will be just about completely evaporated or absorbed. My only suggestion is to add a bit of water with the spinach, and cook longer than 1 minute.
- 1 (15 ounce) can fava beans, drained and rinsed
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- bouquet garni (available in some markets or combine 3 sprigs parsley, 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, 1 sprig fresh thyme)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pinch cayenne
- 10 ounces prewashed ready-to-eat spinach
- 1⁄8 lemons (optional) or 1⁄8 lime wedge (optional)
- roasted red pepper (optional)
- 1⁄8 tomato, wedge (optional)
- 4 olives (optional)
- Place beans in medium pot. Add water to cover beans and bring to boil. Add bouquet garni and cover, leaving lid slightly ajar.
- Simmer 30 minutes. Drain beans and discard bouquet garni.
- Meanwhile, in large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until it turns golden, about 5 minutes (important - do not let garlic burn). Remove garlic with slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add cayenne and then stir in spinach, cover and let cook about 1 minute, until wilted. Season with salt.
- Mound spinach onto large serving plate, top with beans and sprinkle with browned garlic. Add garnishes if desired.
The recipe is quite easy to cook, and doesn't require much monitoring, making it easy to concentrate on other parts of the meal. I used broad beans (the UK equivalent of fava beans) but they didn't turn out as dark as Toni's picture. I wonder if there is a regional difference which is why my results weren't as good. The beans really did pick up the flavour of the herbs though. I quite like spinach in things, but I'm afraid this is my second attempt at wilted spinach, and it seems I just don't like it.
As a spinach lover, I would probably cook 2 bags next time. Otherwise, the dish was superb. The wonderful flavor of the beans, the crispy bites of garlic all come together into a tasty treat. I used some rather large fava beans and thought they were a nice texture contrast to the softness of the spinach. Delicious.