I love any excuse to eat bread, especially since I’m currently on a diet-thingy which prohibits anything fun a.k.a. grains. Sometimes, especially when given the right excuse, rules are meant to be broken and a few days ago when the fava beans at the market were looking super cute, I decided it was time to live on the edge.
I’m not gonna lie, favas are a bit of a commitment in terms of preparation. They require two shuckings: the first one is to take the beans out of their pods. The second is to peel away the outer layer of the favas. Both can happen quickly but I encourage you to enlist some help, especially when making big batches.
Since favas take a bit of preparation work, I always make sure the rest of the dish is simple and easy. This dish falls into that category. It’s perfect to eat for a snack by yourself or to serve at a get-together. The favas are buttery and delicious, while the mint, salt, lemon and olive oil are nice additions. I topped it with a bit of sumac but feel free to use red pepper flakes for a bit of spice.
Fava Bean Mash Ricotta Toasts
- 1 pound fava beans, shucked from their pods
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 to 3 mint leaves, minced
- Sumac, for garnish (or alternatively, red pepper flakes)
- Fill a small saucepan with about 3 inches of water and place the pan over moderately medium heat. When the water reaches a simmer, add the fava beans and blanch for about a minute. Drain the favas and run them under cold water until they're cool enough to handle. Peel the rough outer shell of the favas, revealing a bright green bean. Repeat until you've worked your way through all of the fava beans.
- To the jar of a food processor or blender, add the shucked favas, juice from 1 lemon, a splash of water, a few pinches of salt, and mint leaves. Pulse until the mixture resembles a rough puree. With the machine running, drizzle in the oil until the mash is a bit smoother in texture. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Rub the garlic clove on the surface of each slice of bread. Toast the bread under the broiler. If the edges of the bread burn a little, welcome them--they're great added flavor. To assemble the crostinis, divide the ricotta amongst the slices of toast, top with fava bean mash, a dash of salt and a sprinkling of sumac.
Yield: 4-6 crostinis
Adrianna Adarme is a food blogger and author living in Los Angeles, California. She writes the blog A Cozy Kitchen, where she shares comforting, everyday recipes from her kitchen. She recently authored her first cookbook, PANCAKES: 72 Sweet and Savory Recipes for the Perfect Stack. She’s a lover of breakfast, pie (and sometimes even pie for breakfast), corgis and cute things. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.