New roots. Spring brings them every year, along with some delicacies that can only be enjoyed during these warming days…like fresh fava beans. Spring is the time these legumes behave, and taste, more like fresh new peas than later in the year after they mature, when they firmly join the bean clan (mostly dried or canned).
New roots are also springing up for Chef Crystal DeLongpre (known as Chef Pink for her hair color preference) as she takes over the reins at the Corque Hotel’s root 246 in Solvang. After stints at top kitchens of Los Angeles, the Food Network and running her own restaurant, she knew she could only go where her food philosophy would be shared: hyper-local ingredients, responsible sourcing via close relationships with farmers, stewards of the land. Now, Chef Pink is rejuvenating the kitchen at root 246, with 95% of its produce coming from local farms, as she moves the restaurant firmly towards its own rebirth. The dinner and bar menus have already been refreshed (but check for chef’s specials to appear anytime). In coming months, look for more casual, family-friendly dining, with a love for locals and a re-design focused on comfort.
To make this spring comfort dish at home, remove the large outer pods from the fava beans, then take each bean and remove the thin skin covering the split bean.
Next, hard-boil an egg, cool it down, peel it and set aside (or cure it by cracking an egg in a boil over salt, then cover it with salt and plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 week). Tear lasagna noodles roughly (or use any other “badly cut” pasta) and boil per directions in a pot with enough salt to taste like the sea.
Sauté thinly sliced and diced guanciale or bacon over medium-high heat, until it is crispy. Remove the bacon, then add 1/2 cup cut spring onion to the bacon fat and cook over low heat until translucent. Add 1 cup chicken stock and simmer until reduced by half, than add a handful of fresh fava beans to the pan, season with salt and turn down the heat. Add cooked pasta along with 1 tablespoon of butter and a healthy squeeze of lemon. After simmering for 2-3 minutes, sprinkle with bacon and grate the egg yolk over over the top. Chef Pink also adds locally foraged kombu – the “king of seaweed” used to make Dashi – which adds umami richness to the dish.