June is a special month here in Lisbon. By this time neighborhoods adquire a very lively atmosphere in celebration of our popular saints. Food, drink and dance are some of the arguments for a contagious euphoria.
The typical dishes that vegetarians can enjoy by these days are the famous “caldo verde” (kale soup) with the particularity of adding soy sausage slices to go with and, for the main course, why not, some fava beans cooked “my way”?
Fava beans are from the vegetable family and one of the oldest cultures. Ancient Greeks, Egyptians and Romans already appreciated their flavor. Though fava beans origin is uncertain, it is estimated that they appeared in the Caspian region and North Africa. As this plant is easily adaptable to Mediterranean climates, it is easy to find it by this time of the year. Fava beans are rich in protein and carbohydrates.
I added a vegetable that would further increase the flavor of the beans and chard seemed perfect! Chard belongs to spinach and beet family and it is one of the most complete vegetables with considerable amounts of niacin, vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid and fiber.
It has firm and long stems throughout the plant which can be eaten. The stems can be green, red or yellow, giving a great visual presentation to the dish.
To get a wild savor, I added mushrooms and cooked a semi-full rice that though it is not 100% full, it retains many unique properties and offers the advantage of having a shorter cooking time and a softer texture.
2 hands semi-full rice
3 cups of fresh fava beans
9 chard leaves
3 small carrots
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsl olive oil
2 tbsl soy sauce
salt to taste
Wash the rice and let it stand in a container with water for 20 minutes.
Prepare the remaining ingredients:
Wash the beans and steamed until tender.
Wash the carrots, cut them into strips and steamed until they are al- dente.
Wash the zucchini, remove the peel, cut into thin slices and make hearts to decorate the dish. Reserve.
Wash the chard. Separate the stalks and cut into small squares. Cut the leaves into strips.
Put the rice in a pan, add water (the amount of water should be twice as the rice) and let it boil. When it starts to boil, season with salt, put the lid on and cook on low heat for about 18 to 20 minutes.
While the rice cooks, clean the mushrooms with a cloth and slice them.
Chop the garlic and sauté in olive oil.
Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the chard stalks and cook for 1 minute.
Add the chard leaves and mix well. Cook for 2 minutes and then add the fava beans and the carrots.
Season with soy sauce and salt and stir for 3 minutes.
Add sesame seeds to taste and turn off the heat.
Serve with the rice decorated with the zucchini hearts.
© veggie delicious food, June 2013