Saturday, May 28, 2011
He was a very comfortable sort, often compromising for the greater good, until it came to fava beans. The pods had to be firm and measure between five and six inches. His desired shade of green was difficult to describe, but he knew it when he saw it. First the beans were shelled. Next, blanched, ever so briefly. Anyone could handle the first shelling and quick blanch, these were the steps that mattered least to him, but he liked to remove the little jackets himself. He found it meditative and gratifying. Only one cheese could accompany his tender little beans, Pecorino, the Romano variety, grated on the fine side of the box grater. The prepared beans had to be served in a specific ceramic oval dish, glazed in a deep periwinkle blue. There were no substitutions. The day I ate my favas in a white ramekin with Parmigiano-Reggiano felt a betrayal.