Portland, Oregon: Our friend, Becky, gave us a bag of fava beans from her garden. We couldn’t believe the quality of these pods – the beans were so perfect, they looked plastic – and we couldn’t believe receiving such a gift. Like gold from the garden.

I peeled the pods, blanched and peeled the fava beans, then added them with a few freshly shelled peas and a few spears of asparagus.

After a quick sauté in a butter, olive oil, lemon juice, and mint, the veggies were topped with a seared (fresh caught) salmon fillet. Dinner party perfect!

The next day, there were still a cup or so of fava and peas left-over, so I made a pesto with fava, green peas, pistachios, parmesan, basil, mint and olive oil. Tossed with penne, and a few reserved nuts and fava beans as garnish.

Must. Always. Garnish.

Dang, if this wasn’t a delicious use of the beans and an easy vegetarian dinner.

Thank you, Becky, for feeding us two nights.

The only other thing I cooked this week was a recipe found while browsing around the World Wide Web: Garlic Butter Tomato Baked Chicken with Mozzarella from Little Spice Jar. I really like recipes that can be made earlier in the day, so I can relax with DT while learn of the latest disaster from our local Public Broadcasting station. Not that I am adverse to stirring a pot, glass of wine in hand…

This recipe calls for an ungodly number of garlic cloves, so it was right up my alley. The chicken marinated all afternoon in this little casserole dish, and I tossed in the tomatoes and sauce (balsamic, butter, honey, garlic, basil, onion powder and thyme) before baking.

I used one box of grape tomatoes (that is what I had), the full sauce amount, and two chicken breast pieces.

It was a mess in the pan (but the photo on the Spice Jar blog is nearly identical), but really a very wonderful dish. Marzia, of Spice Jar, recommends not using pre-shredded mozzarella cheese, but that is what I had on-hand, and it worked fine. Maybe because it was the fabulous “farmstyle” shred from Tillamook? (Who knew farmers shredded cheese differently than non-farmers.)

I served it on a teeny amount of Pappardelle pasta. Yep. More pasta. My Runner could eat it every day if I would allow cook it for him. 

We had a very busy week with guests and appointments. DT’s second meniscus-tear repair is not rehabbing well, though he has never missed a day of his exercise and icing routine. Dave went back to his surgeon this week and received a cortisone injection. The ortho now thinks My Husband has tendonitis. If it isn’t one thing, it’s another… and the “another” is age. Now he has additional exercises to combat the tendonitis!

I’d better keep feeding him.

Until my next update, I remain, your carbo-loading correspondent.

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