Weekday Vegetarian: Fantastic Fava Bean Puree


I've always stayed away from making anything with fava beans because inevitably the recipe will say how much work they are. The idea of shelling the beans and then having to peel each one of them seemed like a ridiculous amount of effort. On the other hand, people are positively rhapsodic about how delicious they are. Faced with a big bin of fava beans at my organic grocery, I figured, what the heck, give them a try.Now that I've done the whole procedure I can honestly say that it really isn't a big deal at all. It took a bit of time, but it gave me the chance to sit down while I worked which was a nice change. I happen to enjoy shelling peas, so this wasn't a stretch at all. Once I had blanched the beans, they just slipped right out of their skins.

I made this as an appetizer for a dinner party and everyone loved them. The beans had a light, spring-like taste in the same way that peas do. I put the pureed beans on puff pastry, rather than crostini. You could add some grated Parmesan cheese into the puree and use it as a pesto, as I did with asparagus a couple of weeks ago. If you want a vegan dish, just leave the cheese out altogether.

This recipe is from the website Pictures and Pancakes.

Fava Bean Crostini with Pecorino

2 lbs fava beans in the pod
1 whole grain demi-batard or baguette, thinly sliced
1/4 cup plus 3 tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, roasted in oil until soft & browned
1/2 lemon, juiced
salt & pepper to taste
1 small wedge pecorino romano, shaved with vegetable peeler

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Remove beans from their pods and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water until cool. Slip them out of their pale green shell with your fingers and set aside. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a medium saute pan and add fava beans. Lightly saute for 6-8 minutes until tender. Set aside to cool slightly.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spread crostini in a single layer on a sheet pan and brush with remaining 3 tbs olive oil. Bake until lightly brown and crisp, 12-15 minutes.

3.Transfer cooled beans and oil to a food processor and puree. Add garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper and puree until smooth. Spread about 1 tbsp of fava puree on each crostini and top with a thin shaving of cheese.

More Appetizer Recipes

Tomato Jam on Crostini
Walnut Mushroom Pate
White Bean Aioli

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