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Fava Beans with Serrano Ham and Fried Egg

Fava Beans with Serrano Ham and Fried Egg
Fresh fava beans must be removed from their pods before cooking. Unless the beans are very small and young, the tough skin that covers each bean must also be slipped off. To remove the skins, blanch the shelled beans in rapidly boiling salted water until just tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Do not overcook. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Pinch each bean opposite the end where it was attached to the pod and squeeze; the bean should pop free. Use a paring knife to remove any stubborn skins.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion or 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 oz. sliced serrano ham or prosciutto, cut
      into thin strips
  • 1 to 1 1⁄2 lb. young fava beans, shelled
      and skinned
  • 1⁄2 cup dry sherry
  • 1⁄2 cup chicken or vegetable stock or
      low-sodium canned broth
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh chives

Directions:

In a large fry pan over medium heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the onion, garlic and ham and cook until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the peeled fava beans and stir for a moment, taking care not to break them up, then add the sherry, stock and parsley. Increase the heat to high and cook until the liquid reduces a bit and the flavors are blended, about 1 minute. Add 1 Tbs. of the oil, season with salt and pepper, and transfer to a serving bowl. Keep warm.

In the same pan, warm the remaining 1 Tbs. oil. Crack the egg into the pan and fry until the yolk is still runny but the white is firm, about 2 minutes. A little bit of crispy edge to the white is fine and adds good texture.

To serve, cut the egg into bite-size pieces and toss with the warm fava mixture. The runny yolk will meld into the sauce. Sprinkle with the chives and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Note: Similar to Italian prosciutto, serrano ham is Spanish in origin. Both are made by salting a leg of pork and hanging it to air-cure. Traditionally cut thicker than prosciutto, serrano has a similar but more earthy flavor. It can be found in delicatessens and specialty-food stores.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Vegetable, by Marlena Spieler (Simon & Schuster, 2002).