Monday, June 13, 2016


IMG 7562
Eastside Road, June 12, 2016—

THERE IS NO WAY to photograph this plate. Quickly: that's a white carrot across the bowl (well, half a white carrot, sliced lengthwise, the only proper way to slice a carrot). More important, it's a mash of favas in the bowl.

One of my favorite places in the world is Nice, I speak of the real Nice, not the one over in the next county. I think if I could be someone else I would be Nissart, or Niçard, or as the French say Nicois. It is the right balance between being Italian and being French-but-not-Parisian, with a good deal of independence thrown in. And the national genius of Nice, to me, is the fava. I know the celebrated panisse is made of chickpea flour: but I think it ought to be made of the flour of ground-up dried favas.

Cook likes to shell favas while watching the news, but it's late in the season. Today at the market we discovered already shelled favas. When I looked into a bin at the feet of the farmer manning his stall I saw the reason: the unshelled favas are well past prime; they're mottled, mostly black, wrinkled, old. Like me. Someone, no doubt the little girl playing with her telephone at his feet, and shelled favas last night, or maybe early this morning, and that's what we bought today, pre-shelled favas.

Late in the season, no es verdad, I said brightly to the man, sí, es verdad, late in the season, he said. You will dry the rest? Yes, I will dry the rest, and then cook them in our stews.

You should grind them up when they're dry, I said, and make harina, and try making tortillas of them; that would be good.

He seemed dubious. Cook rolled her eyes.

What she did: peel the pre-shelled favas, and cook them in a little water and salt, and mash them up with her wooden spoon which she wields as a sceptre. They were delicious, and made me think of Nice.

Afterward, Marion's Barley: the barley pilaf we often have, just barley, butter, and sliced scallions, enough salt of course. And then the green salad, and since it's Sunday let's have dessert: vanilla ice cream with sliced peaches, because they're in season.

Pinot noir, RMH, 2014, the rest of the bottle, still alive and fruity

RESTAURANTS VISITED, with information and rating:  2016   2015

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