It’s springtime and so comes an abundance of fava beans! These tasty, green gems are great tossed in salads, risotto, or even a simple pureed soup. Another great way to use these protein packed beans is in a pesto. Add the pesto to some crusty toast and you have an easy, savory snack to satisfy a crowd.
Makes 8 servings
- 1 cup shelled fresh fava beans (1 1/4 pounds in pods)
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus additional for drizzling
- 1 1/2 cups packed baby arugula (1 1/2 ounces), divided*
- 3 tablespoons grated Pecorino cheese or Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1/4 teaspoon of grated lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 baguette
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 16 mint leaves
*Substitute spinach for a milder version
1. Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.
2. Cook fava beans in boiling water, uncovered, until tender, 3 to 4 minutes, then drain and transfer to an ice bath to stop cooking. Gently peel off skins. (Recruit your children. It’s a great way for them to help with the recipe.)
3. Pulse fava beans in a food processor until very coarsely chopped, then transfer half of mixture to a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup oil, 1/2 cup arugula, cheese, lemon zest and juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper to favas in processor and purée until smooth. Add to bowl. Coarsely chop remaining cup arugula and gently fold into fava-bean mixture.
4. Cut 16 diagonal slices (1/3 inch thick) from baguette and put in a 4-sided sheet pan. Drizzle with remaining tablespoon oil. Bake until pale golden and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Rub with garlic.
5. Spoon fava-bean mixture onto baguette toasts, then drizzle with oil and top with mint.