I have a confession. I get too many magazines. So many that some are still in their plastic wrappers, waiting to be read, months after arriving in my mailbox. I used to get even more, but I pared down, now only getting one of each type; food, travel, home & garden, and National Geographic. I love my magazines, but I rarely have time to read them and for some reason, almost never cook from them.
A couple of weeks ago I made a vow to myself that I would not order or renew any magazines until I had a) finished reading all the ones I have and b) made at least a few recipes out of my current food magazine of choice, Gourmet. My Gourmet subscription ran out this month, so I’d better get crackin’.
Last weekend I was in one of my favorite markets and they had fava beans. I bought a couple of pounds, unsure at the moment what I’d make with them, but having vague notions of some sort of fresh pasta with vegetables. But when I got home, I remembered that I’d seen a recipe using favas in the May copy of Gourmet, the one magazine I was not behind on in reading (go figure). Plus, I had some arugula in the garden which needed to be picked and had everything else on hand for the recipe. I had even been baking bread (more to come on that later). I love it when I don’t have to go to the store to buy 1 item just to complete a recipe. I made this for Sunday dinner.
Fava, Arugula and Mint Crostini
1 cup shelled Fava Beans (2 lbs in pods, see prep instructions below)
3 oz + 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup fresh arugula
2 Tbsp fresh mint, chiffonade*
3 Tbsp Parmesan
1/4 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste
Shell the fava beans from their large pods. From the 2.25 lbs I started with, I ended up with about 1.5 cups.
Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil and get a large bowl filled with ice water ready. Cook the shelled favas for 3-4 minutes, drain and shock in ice water to stop them from cooking more. Gently peel off the exterior skins.
Note; I did this a couple of days in advance of when I finished the recipe and the held up ok in the refrigerator. I ended up with about a cup of peeled favas.
Put the fava beans in a food processor and pulse a few times to coarsely chop. Remove half of the chopped beans to a bowl. Rough chop half of the arugula and add to the food processor bowl. Also add 3 oz of olive oil, the lemon juice and zest, sugar and a pinch of salt and pepper. Puree until smooth. Transfer to bowl with coarsely chopped favas.
Chiffonade the rest of the arugula and the mint and combine with the fava puree and chopped favas. Mix in the grated parmesan.
Recipe yields about 1 cup.
Slice the baguette on the diagonal and brush with a Tbsp of olive oil. Toast in the oven until brown. Top with fava puree or put the puree in a bowl next to the toasts on a platter and let your guests do it themselves.
Here is the original recipe
I made some changes:
The recipe calls for 1.25 lbs of fava beans in pods to yield 1 cup favas. I bought 2.25 lbs and only got slightly more than a cup of cleaned beans.
I added more olive oil and lemon than the original recipe.
I put the mint in the puree instead of only as a garnish.
I found the arugula too bitter (and I like bitter) so I added a pinch of sugar
*chiffonade is a method of slicing herbs or greens into thin little ribbons.