Taste of spring

Fava beans

Illustration by SERENE LUSANO

Like eagerly awaited Delta asparagus, fava beans are a spring market prize. Often grown as a winter crop to improve the soil, these bright green legumes take a little work: shuck off the pods to reveal the rooster crests on each bean, which you then blanch and peel off to enjoy the tender flesh beneath. Sauté them ever so briefly with oil, then toss with pasta, fresh herbs and goat cheese. Or make a pistou with blanched favas, garlic, Parmesan and nuts, and swirl it into soups and over pizza. They’re the ultimate taste of spring.