Liver Pate and Fava Beans....More Delicious Than You Think!
Last weekend I stumbled across a new and exotic pod at the farmers market....a gargantuan bean pod that looked like it might have come off of the stalk that Jack climbed up to reach the Giant. And because I can´t resist new and exotic foods, especially ones that remind me of fairy tales, I had to ask the farmer all about it. Turns out...it was a fava bean pod! Not quite that exotic after all as it grows well here in our Illinois climate. You can get them now from Suttill's Garden in Springfield.
Now I´ve never had fava beans before, but I think we are all familiar with that imfamous movie line from Silence of the Lambs. And because I recently purchased half of a lamb from Caveny Farm...I had a lamb liver in my freezer. I think you know where I´m going with this.
I HAD to make liver with fava beans and Chianti. Had to.
And I have to say....Anthony Hopkins was on to something.
Liver pate and fava beans may be one of my new favorite recipes. Before you turn up your nose at liver pate, please, please, please just give it a try. I know liver gets a bad rap, but honestly, when made properly, it´s sooo delicious. And it is packed with vitamins and minerals. Check out the awesome nutrition stats here.
Along with being a nutritional powerhouse, liver also has the advantage of being relatively inexpensive. Because it´s not universally loved (yet), you can scoop up a pound of grass'fed lamb liver for about $4/lb. Compare that to a pound of ground lamb which runs at about $8.75, and it's easy to see you're getting a steal!
Live pate is quick and easy to make and comes together in about 20 minutes. I can't say the same thing for the fava beans, which actually need to be peeled twice! Once to remove them from the pod, and a second time to remove the outer waxy coating on the bean. But it's a good chore for when you're catching up on the latest episode of your favorite binge-worthy TV show.
Full recipes below
1 lb grass-fed liver
4 Tbsp (½ stick) butter (from grass-fed cows)
1 medium onion, sliced
½ tsp salt
1 bunch fresh sage (this is what I had in my garden, but you could substitute with a teaspoon of dried sage or thyme or your favorite herb).
pinch of black pepper
4 oz heavy whipping cream '
1. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add butter.
2. Chop onions and add to skillet. Cook until softened.
3. Add liver and sage. Cook liver until lightly browned on both sides (about 3-4 minutes per side).
4. Transfer liver-onion-sage mixture to food processor and add the heavy cream, salt, and pepper.
5. Process/pulse until you have a nice, thick pate. Taste test and add additional salt if needed.
6. Transfer to small mason jars, ensuring no air bubbles are present. Use within 1 week or freeze jars for later use.
Parmesan and Lemon Fava Beans
1 lb Fava beans
1 squeeze lemon juice.
1 Tbsp. shredded permasan
1 Tbsp. oil
Salt and pepper to taste.
1. Remove fava beans from pods
2. Heat a large skillet of boiling water and add all of the beans to the water for 1-2 minutes. Then strain from the water and let cool. Pinch off the outer waxy coating on each bean.
3. Remove water from the skillet and turn burner on high.
4. Add 1 Tbsp. of olive oil and the beans. Sautee for 2-3 minutes on high heat.
5. Remove from heat and top with lemon, parmesan, salt and pepper.
Serve pate with toasted bread, a side of fava beans, and your favorite wine.