This bright green, garlicky spread goes great on freshly toasted crostini, and if you have any ripe cherry tomatoes around, they’re a tasty addition to this easy little appetizer. The spread is also good tossed with some warm pasta and sun-dried tomatoes for a light dinner. Preparing the beans takes a little bit of time, but once that step is done the spread can be whipped up pretty quickly.
Fava Bean Spread:
Makes about 2 ½-3 cups.
2 ½ - 3 lbs Fava Beans, unshelled
1 Scant Tbl Garlic, finely minced
4 Tbl Fresh Lemon Juice
¾ tsp Sea Salt
2 Tbl Fresh Chives, chopped
2/3 Cup Olive Oil
Fresh Ground Pepper
1 long, Sweet French Baguette
Preparing the Beans;
Shell the beans, removing them from the thick pods. Bring about 4 cups of water to a boil and add the shelled fava beans. Return to a low boil and cook for about 3 minutes. Drain the beans and immediately shock in an ice water bath to stop the cooking. At this point, the outer skin covering the beans should look pale and slightly wrinkled. With your thumb nail, pierce the skin and then pop the bean out of the casing into a bowl. Discard the skins and repeat with the remaining beans. What you’re left with is the edible part of fava beans.
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Slice the baguette into 1/3-1/2 inch rounds. With a pastry brush, coat each side of the baguette slices lightly with olive oil. Lay out on a baking sheep in a single layer.
Bake the crostini for about 8 minutes, until they just begin to turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and immediately transfer the crostini to a plate to stop any further cooking.
In a food processor, add the shelled beans, minced garlic, salt, and about 1/3 cup of olive oil. Process until a coarse spread begins to form. Slowly add the remaining 1/3 cup of olive oil, pulsing the food processor until incorporated. Add the chopped chives, fresh ground pepper to taste, and remaining olive oil and process until a smooth, even paste is formed.
The spread can be served in a bowl with the crostini and other fresh vegetables on the side to dip, or as a more formal appetizer with the crostini topped with fava bean spread, a few cherry tomato halves and some more freshly chopped chives, served on a platter.