I love many vegetables. Most vegetables, even. But I do not love fava beans.
Sure, they’re the color of springtime. And at their best, they do taste like something that color green should taste. But they are so much work. (Every year around this time, someone acts like it’s a new idea to grill whole fava beans, but that can’t really work. Does that really work?)
So I only cook fava beans when they appear in my CSA box. One or two pounds can be manageable if you have half an hour to kill: string the pods and pull them open, push out the beans with your thumb, simmer them for a few minutes, drain and run them under cold water, then peel the bean-skin from each and every individual bean.
Then see if you find yourself admiring the fava’s color and flavor, or if you find yourself vowing to just steam some broccoli next time. If you forget your vow and find yourself with another pound of favas, though, this recipe is one of my favorites.
Fava Bean and Arugula Bean Crostini: Shell about a pound of fava beans and simmer the beans in salted water for 3-4 minutes, until tender. Drain, run under cold water, then pinch each bean from its skin, discarding skins and placing beans in the bowl of your food processor. Pulse the machine a few times to break up the favas, then add 1/4 c. olive oil, a big handful of arugula, a regular handful of grated Parmesan, the juice and zest of a lemon and 1/2 tsp. salt. Process into a puree, tasting and adjusting the flavors to your liking. Finely chop another big handful of arugula and stir the chopped arugula into the green puree. Spread onto baguette slices that have been drizzled with olive oil and salt and toasted under the broiler for a minute or two.
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine. And speaking of crostini, have you tried these yet?
I hear they’re nice with some liver and a nice Chianti…. :)
LOL. Thank you for admitting that you find a vegetable tiresome and not really worth the trouble. In all of our collective healthy veggie enthusiasm, I sometimes think I’m the only one who occasionally says: “Na-ah. I’m not making that, not happening.” Looks delicious, so I just may HAVE to try them, even though you’ve warned me. :-)
Haha! I second this comment! Would you believe I’ve never, ever eaten a fava bean? I may have to try it too…..
Also have never, and still think will never … but, if for some reason they show up in my CSA, at least now I know what to do! (Also, I was secretly hoping that you knew about something called an arugula bean! Are those seed pods on bolted arugula edible? Anyway …. :) )
I don’t like fava beans for the same reason, but also since they are often eaten with the skins here in the Netherlands, and I don’t like that taste at all! Your preparation would be an exception here and is called ‘shelled twice’.
This looks great … Happy Weekend :-)
I’m with you on the fava been reluctance. Love to eat them in a restaurant but a total pain in the butt otherwise. Does anywhere sell them ready to go?
Looks divine! I have always LOVED fava beans – ate them from the garden as a kid!
Oh man Emmy, you should have seen me this past winter when I pain stakingly (and insanely) tried to peel dried Fava beans. Do not advise doing this unless you have 3 to 4 hours you can spare.
These do sound like a lot of work, but worth it. Love the colour!
I love fava beans when someone else prepares them! I actually had fava-and-arugula crostini at Plum this week, and they were delicious. The fava mixture was totally smooth, with whole arugula leaves arranged on top. There was also a wonderful drizzle of a tangy dill aioli, which kind of knocked it out of the park.
What a lovely idea. Delicious.
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