Authentic Suburban Gourmet: Fava Bean Crostini

Read Time:2 Minute, 45 Second
Fava beans are one of life’s
delightful pleasures.
Fava beans are actually an ancient food that has been
around for thousands of years primarily in
Europe, the Middle
and North Africa. The term fava comes from the Italian word “Fava”
meaning “broad bean” and if you are in
England, you will often hear that term. Other terms that are
associated with fava beans are: pigeon beans, horse beans and
Windsor beans. Fava beans are planted in February and March
to mature through the summer, with their peak in July and August.

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Preparing fava beans is a
labor of love with its intensive process, however actually quite relaxing. The
fava beans are in a protective pod that once the string is removed and the
outer shell is removed, it reveals these little gems sitting on a “puffy cotton
lining” inside the outer shell. Next you will want to shuck the beans, blanch
them quickly before removing the waxy outer covering. The beans have a buttery
character, delicate bitterness and nutty quality.
Fava beans can be served on a
Crostini, in a risotto, sautéed with fresh English peas and morel mushrooms or
just tossed with olive oil, lemon zest and thyme. I look forward to late spring
and the first few months of summer to enjoy these delicious and versatile
little gems.
I would recommend “Duet”
Louis Latour from the Vin de Pays de Coteaux de L’Ardeche appellation
to pair with these two bite wonders. It is a blend of Chardonnay and Viognier,
with fresh citrus, soft apricot and peach fruit aromas on the nose are echoed
on the palette to create a delicate, supple and interesting wine.  Happy Friday Night Bites!
5 T. Olive oil + 1 T. Olive
1 ½ t. Fresh thyme leaves

Parmesan Cheese

To prepare the fava beans,
pull the string from the long bean and then open of each pod. Remove the beans
from the pods. Each pound of fava beans will yield about one cup of beans.
Prepare a large pot of boiling water and add the white vinegar to it. Add the
beans and blanch for about 1 to 2 minutes. Meanwhile have a large ice bath
ready to submerge the cooked beans into. Once cooled, use your finger nail or
paring knife to remove the waxy covering from each bean. Place into a bowl.
In a small sauté pan, add one
tablespoon of olive oil and heat on medium for about 30 seconds. Add the minced
garlic and cook for one to two minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
Use a food processor and add
the prepared fava beans, garlic with oil, thyme, salt and 5 tablespoons of
olive oil. Pulse until smooth for about 30 to 45 seconds and if not blended,
feel free to add additional olive oil until it is a paste consistency and will
spread easily but not oily.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Slice the baguette into ¼ inch thick slices and brush with olive oil on both
sides. Place onto a cookie sheet and cook for about 4 minutes on each side or
until light golden brown. Spread the fava bean puree on each toasted Crostini
and top with a slice of parmesan cheese.

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