One sign that spring has arrived is the appearance of fava beans at the market.
I love them cooked very simply in a bath of olive oil and water, and combined with ramps and soft-cooked farm egg. The intensity of the egg yolk and the lusciousness of the egg white marries with the beans and ramps to form a lovely vegetarian appetizer that’s reminiscent of the season.
If you omit the egg, this dish becomes vegan.
Fava bean and ramps ragoût with soft-cooked farm egg
2 pounds young fava beans
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon fresh sage, julienned
1 bunch ramps, cleaned, trimmed and chopped coarsely
sea salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
juice of half a lemon
1 farm egg
Shell the fava beans and discard the pods. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the favas and simmer for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Drain, then shock the beans immediately in a bowl of ice water. The outer skin of each bean should come right off.
Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a roiling boil. Add egg and cook, about 3 to 5 minutes; cooking time will vary and is dependent on the freshness of the egg. Let cool, then peel and slice in half. Set aside while you proceed with the recipe.
Put the fava beans and ramps in a saucepan with a mixture of half cold water and half olive oil, enough to barely cover them. Add the garlic and sage. Bring to a simmer, partially cover and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. When beans are done, taste for salt and pepper. Spoon bean mixture into a shallow soup bowl, finish with a squeeze of lemon juice, top with the soft-cooked egg halves, then serve at once.
Time: About 1 hour, including prep. The vast majority of the time will be spent on shelling the fava beans.