The past two weekends I bought some fresh fava beans. They’re hard to miss. Giant peapods with a rich green color usually next to a box of beans, fava beans are sure to catch your attention. The next thing to wonder is what to make with these colorful bean monstrosities. For me, there was an obvious answer – fava bean spread.
Last year, we were dining out and enjoyed some fava bean spread on toast at a local restaurant. I immediately came home and started to search the Internet for some recipes to try my own take on this wonderful, buttery bean spread. Some recipes called for mixing in some goat cheese or Crème fraîche. I wanted to try something without the addition and then build from there.
The recipe below is just that. A basic fava bean spread that you can use as a base to experiment. Maybe add a 1/3 cup of goat cheese to it. Perhaps some tablespoons of Crème fraîche until you get the texture and flavor you want. You could also add grated cheese.
For now, this basic recipe will get you started and really it needs nothing. The flavor is great as is, but if you do experiment please leave me some comments on what you did to enhance or try. I would love to hear it.
Fava Bean Spread
Serves 6-8 slices
1 1/2 lb whole fava beans with pod
1/2 lemon, juice
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
Cook the whole fava beans in boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove and let them cool for 5 minutes. Start chucking the pods by removing the pod. Put beans aside in a separate bowl. When all finished removing the pods, now remove the skin from each bean. You’ll see a dingy green skin that you can peal off to reveal bright green peas. Place the bright green beans in a saute pan.
Heat the saute pan on medium heat and toss the beans with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add water to the pan. Toss to coat everything and heat mixing the beans around for about 5 minutes to soften the beans.
Add the cooked beans, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper to a food processor. Puree it until you have a thick paste. Add more olive oil or lemon juice if you need to get it smoother or modify the flavor a bit.
Heat some bread slices brushing olive oil on top of each and place in the oven at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Remove the bread when done and spread on the paste. Shave some parmesan and drizzle a little olive oil to finish.