Warm Fava Beans, Green Garlic and Bacon on Polenta; the update

Did someone say trim?

Mon mari believes that a bit of trim can fix a multitude of, um, idiosyncrasies.

And when you are working with an old, stone farmhouse there are a lot of idiosyncrasies.

Walls and ceilings and floors that may have had square corners one or two hundred years ago, no longer do.

That, and because he really likes to do this sort of fancy detail work, is why he has spent these last weeks of winter working on trim.

Our bathroom window now has a frame and a sill – and the ceiling has an outline of, you guessed it, trim…


The door between the kitchen and den is finished… well, almost…

It still has the little final bits that he is doing on all the door frames:

He finished the frame around our front – and only, door:

And, he spent a day putting outlets in the floor.  As the walls are stone, it’s easier to do the wiring on the cellar ceiling and drill through the floor to put in outlets.  Plus that way one can have lamps on tables that aren’t up against a wall.

He put this one in the kitchen so we can have a little TV by the wood stove, and he put one in the middle of the den for a reading lamp.  Of course, he had to drill through 2 layers of tile and a thick layer of concrete to do it….

That’s what’s new chez nous.


That and I found the first fava beans of the season the other day.

If you eat with the seasons, as we do….. This is the start of something wonderful…

Warm Fave Bean, Green Garlic and Bacon on Polenta
Warm Fava Beans, Green Garlic and Bacon on Polenta 

3/4 cup peeled fava beans
4 slices streaky bacon
8 green garlic
2 tbs polenta
1/2 cup (4oz, 125ml) chicken stock
1 tsp olive oil
1 tbs truffle oil

Peel fava beans:  Break open the pod and take the
beans out. Don’t bother with any really tiny ones. Blanch in rapidly
boiling water for 30 seconds. Drain and put into cold water.

After blanching they will have a whitish outer shell. Just squeeze
lightly and the inner, bright green bean will pop out. It may split in
half… that’s okay.

Make polenta: Heat chicken stock in a small saucepan until simmering. Add polenta,
stirring constantly until thick, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover to keep warm.

Trim green garlic and slice, using as much of the green tops as reasonable.
Roughly chop the bacon.
Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a medium skillet.  Add the bacon and fry until light brown and crisp.  Drain off all but 2 tsp fat.  Add the green garlic and stir-fry 1 minute.  Add the fava beans and heat through.
To finish:  Spoon polenta into 2 flattish  soup plates.  Spoon fava and green garlic on top, drizzle with truffle oil and serve.

I thought about adding a bit of Balsamic vinegar…. or maybe some fresh Parmesan…. But, I decided to let the flavors of the favas and green garlic shine.

I was happy.

14 thoughts on “Warm Fava Beans, Green Garlic and Bacon on Polenta; the update”

  1. Drooling over the trim he can do … awesome … and fava beans … one day I’m going to run across those fresh babies.

  2. I’m so jealous of the favas! We’re months away yet … although I do have some cold-weather greens beginning to sprout in the hoop houses. But they’re just sprouts yet. A few weeks from real greens even. I’m so so so tired of store vegetables! I’m nibbling my few chive sprigs in a pot and waiting waiting waiting …
    And the trim is beautiful. My sweetheart is a carpenter, who often re-purposes old cabins, so I’m familiar with the theory that trim can mask a multitude of old-house oddities. Lovely work …

  3. Tanna, They’re so ugly in their pods, I pondered them for awhile before I finally bought them (a few years ago) – worth… I sit and peel whilst watching TV.
    Charlotte, I bet old cabins need even more trim then old stone houses ;-)) Spring will come….
    Year on the grill, yeah, he’s pretty useful!
    Zoomie, me too, luckily, I have him! Your’re on!
    Susan, thanks – on both counts, I’ll pass on the kind words.
    Peter, pork always does wonders for veg… and browned butter works, as well.

  4. There is definitely something really nice about the addition of wooden trim around a doorway…it seems very refined. Looking good…
    The first fava beans! I’m excited. This can only mean good things for the produce world. Love that you served them with bacon and polenta.

  5. Your house looks beautiful and I love the molding. Your dish looks excellent, especially because of the bacon added to the beans! Beautiful “springy” looking dish!

  6. Hi Katie! What a gorgeous place you have! The trim is beautiful – makes such a difference…we are still working on ours too! I have never tried fava beans before and this recipe looks so yummy! Ina

  7. I thoroughly agree with ton mari — the trim around the ceiling and doors and windows and sometimes just in the middle of the wall (chair rail) is part of what gives older houses such charm. It’s that whole “attention to detail” thing that is … lacking in newer dwellings. And the detailing he is adding to the door frames is delightful.
    Have never tried fava beans, but am eagerly awaiting local asparagus. The DH doesn’t like asparagus (!!!) but I do, so I’m going to get some this year and figure out how to cook it. (Yes, I am still discovering some parts of basic cooking. 😉

  8. Joanne, I love them but their season is so short. And dried just isn’t the same… Gotta have that bright green spring color. I’ll give mon mari your kind words ;-))
    Thanks, Pam, I’ll pass it on… Everything goes better with bacon.
    Ina, I’ve only been cooking favas for the last 2 years so, new to me, too. Thanks about the house.
    Laurie, if he doesn’t like asparagus there will just be more for you! Chair rail…. must tell him about chair rales….

  9. So funny how we so often and so easily get stuck in a rut and never think to even turn left or right! I make almost the same thing, except instead of polenta, I serve it with pasta, and I never, ever thought, hmm what would happen if I put this on polenta instead LOL Now I know – DELICIOUS! I will definitely try this and I agree – everything does indeed go better with bacon 😀
    Very nice trim, btw.

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