I have created this recipe a few years back when developing the menus for The Montauk Yacht Club in Long Island NY. It was my very first culinary consulting job for a hospitality establishment, I wanted to feature dishes that could be interpreted as elegant (if people really wanted to) but that retained the essence of my peasant roots.
I do believe that simplicity is elegance. I never mix too many ingredients together and actually enjoy the thinking process that for me is the first step in cooking new recipes: I cook in my head, every step, from the ingredients list to the plating. Never, ever, I have gotten into the kitchen asking myself “What do I have in my pantry? What can I cook tonight?”. I like to focus on how the minimal use of flavors can create a palette of sensorial vibrance. A bite of food should deliver a message, tell a story, not lead you on a quest to understand its significance.
With this dish I was actually able to tell two stories at the same time. The fava bean, dear to any farmer in the inlands of Tuscany, meets the scallop from the coast. Two very distinct flavors and textures, two ingredients that during the right season can be sourced fresh on the same day. Neither the fava bean, nor the scallop are aggressive in flavor but rather a very distinct one that though hides wonderful surprises in its subtleness. A ladle of broth, a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, and well, yes, a tab of butter, to facilitate the marriage of flavors in this recipe that is at the same time elegant and well representative of Tuscan peasantry.