Spring in Spain is a cornucopia of fresh produce, and the markets come alive with fruits and vegetables in every shape and color. Some of the most delicious springtime treats are fresh fava beans, which peak in late May and early June. These creamy beans are incredible when prepared correctly, and here they are allowed to really shine when cooked in extra virgin olive oil (confit style) and served with onion, mint, and sea bass.
See Also: How to shell fresh fava beans
Using extra virgin olive oil (Spanish, preferably) is very important to how this dish turns out. The beans and onions are slowly cooked covered in olive oil, and it is this cooking liquid that finishes off the final dish.
Wild sea bass (lubina salvaje) is suggested for this dish, but other types of bass or hearty white fish may be substituted. Meat lovers may also like to add chopped cured ham to garnish the top of this delicious dish.
- 4 filets of wild sea bass or about 8oz of fish per person
- 2 cups of fresh fava beans (also known as broad beans)
- 1 medium onion
- 1/2 of a lemon, sliced thin
- 2 tablespoons of chopped mint
- 1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
- a dash Salt
- a dash Pepper
- 5 tablespoons Chopped cured ham (Serrano or Prosciutto), optional
Begin by dicing the onion and the mint, and slicing the lemon.
Heat a large, heavy frying pan over medium-high. Add a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and the diced onion and fava beans. Add a dash of salt, give a quick stir, and then cover the onions and beans with olive oil, until they are almost fully submerged. Lower the heat to low and allow the onions and beans to slowly cook in the olive oil (confit style).
After about 20 minutes the beans should be tender.
While the beans are cooking, preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a baking dish and place the fish on top of the oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with the thin slices of lemon and add a bit more salt and a tablespoon of olive oil.
Bake the fish for about 15 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of the filets.
Once the fava beans are completely tender, add the chopped mint and take off of the heat. Cover and let rest. After about five minutes, taste and season with salt and pepper as necessary.
To serve the fish with fava beans, place the cooked fish filets on a serving dish and, using a slotted spoon, top with the fava beans and mint. Add a bit of the cooking oil on top. Decorate with additional sprigs of mint, if you wish. If using the chopped cured ham, you may also sprinkle on top of the fish. If you prefer, you may quickly sauté the ham first, and place it atop the fish still warm.