This is the beginning of fava bean season and many people are not sure how to prepare this spring vegetable. They are becoming increasingly popular and you can find them at farmer's markets and even some grocery stores. Some people call them broad beans, but most likely they will be labeled as fava beans. These beans are very popular in Italy and many Italians like to eat them in the most simple manner - young favas, peeled and raw with a slice of pecorino. The flavor combination is perfect.
Now that it's asparagus season, it's time to break out every great asparagus recipe and enjoy the freshest asparagus you can get. For me, there is a farm right across the street from our subdivision that grows and sells asparagus, freshly picked. On Saturdays here, the farmer's market has loads of fresh asparagus. This frittata is one of the easiest things you can make and it not only makes a nice breakfast, but a great light lunch, too. I use fresh eggs from a local farm that come in a range of beautiful colors.
Although we certainly are carnivores in my family, I love to eat meatless meals and try to eat about three dinners a week without any meat. For those interested in the health and environmental benefits of eating less meat, you can read books by Mark Bittman and Michael Pollan, who both still enjoy an occasional steak. On our weekly pizza night, I always fix a vegetarian pizza for myself (with maybe some good anchovies). I try to fix at least one or two seafood/fish dinners a week and I love to make meatless pasta dishes. But one of the best meals you can fix for dinner involves that super food: beans. It's a high quality protein that is very cheap with no animal fat and lots of fiber. I get my beans these days mostly from Rancho Gordo, that wonderful farm out in Napa Valley run by Steve Sando. He grows the most high quality, fresh beans you will ever taste. You certainly can used canned beans and they are fine, but try buying some great quality dried beans sometime. They are still so much cheaper than buying meat. He has some wonderful varieties that you will never find in the grocery store. For this recipe, I used cellini. You really can use any bean you like.