Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Fava Bean and Parmesan Crostini

Hump day. It means we are winding down for the weekend. I have a good friend on Facebook who every Wednesday, he posts a wonderful reminder that today is Wednesday and the weekend is now not far away.

Weekends for me often include good food, wine and time with my hubby and friends. Last weekend we celebrated Mother’s Day with my family which was simply wonderful. I have four darling nephews who could not be more different – each one has their own unique personality, which makes them special.

They range from 2 years old to 11 years old. The 2 and 4 year old are simply happy with playing with cars and trains, while the 9 and 11 year old could not be happier playing on the iphone or ipad.

Just a little back story on the 11 year old – at Easter I showed him the Draw Something game on my iphone with him and he quickly became obsessed. While out at brunch for Easter, I sat next to the 11 year old and left to get my plate of brunch goodies, while he stayed behind. When I returned, I noticed that he was playing on my iphone, which had been in my handbag. I quickly realized that he is one smart little guy and he remember me inputting my code and unlocked the phone while I was selecting brunch items.

When I asked him, he denied it, but quickly realized that I was not going to back down and he confessed. The code has since been changed. Over Mother’s Day, I heard – “Auntie Lisa, can I play Draw Something?”

Since hubby and I only have one 4 legged furry child, I am the type of Auntie who wants to play and have fun. Of course, I said to the 11 year old – “Sure you can play a few Draw Something games”. He is actually a very talented little artist and I think he learned from the Easter incident to ask first. Smart kid. { Smile }

This appetizer is one I have been making for years and is simply divine. I actually learned this recipe, which has been slightly altered over the years, from Tori Ritchie at her cooking class I took at Tante Marie in San Francisco. It has been a favorite ever since. Enjoy!

Fava Bean and Parmesan Crostini

2 Cup Shelled Fava Beans
2/3 Cup Parmesan Cheese, small cubes
¼ Cup Olive Oil
Zest of one lemon
2 Tablespoons Fresh Thyme Leaves (not dried)
Salt and Pepper
Chiabatta or Sour Dough Crostini (Grilled)

In a large bowl, add the prepared fava beans, parmesan cheese, lemon zest, thyme leaves and olive oil. Mix well and add salt and pepper. Adjust seasonings to your desired level of taste.

Slice approximately 12 to 16 slices of your choice of bread and brush with olive oil. Grill until crispy on each side. Use an outdoor or indoor grill. Rotate the bread often to prevent burning however the charred flavor is quite delicious.

Top each grilled Crostini with the fava bean mixture and enjoy!

Fava Bean Preparation:

To shuck the beans, simply break off one end of the pod and use your thumb to pry it open. Pop the beans into a bowl and make a pile of pods. The easiest way to peel the beans is to parboil them first. To do so, bring a large stockpot filled with water to a rolling boil. Add the beans and let them cook until they turn bright green. About one minute. Then remove the pan from the stove and drain the beans into a colander. Run the beans under cold water for a minute or so to stop them from cooking any further.

Next, you need to remove the skin surrounding each bean. Use a knife or your fingernail to make a slit in the seam at one end of the bean and then squeeze the bean out. It should pop right out of the skin. Once you've peeled the beans, they are ready to use in any recipe.


  1. Have I ever told you that everytime I see or think of making crostini, you always come to mind? Your 1 million and 1 delicious crostini variations makes you queen in my book. This fava bean version wouldn't last long in my house. :)

  2. Love your crostini Lisa, this looks like such a good recipe;-) Too bad fava beans have such a short season, this is such a delicious way to enjoy them;-)

  3. What a great appetizer, I love crostini (& could easily make a whole meal out of them!). I just had fava beans for the first time over the weekend in a pasta dish, and they were delicious.

  4. What a beautiful crostini with fava beans! This looks like it's very simple to put together and I love that they look gorgeous when they are done! I don't have any fava beans recipe and definitely need to keep this recipe handy. It must be fun to see your nephews grow especially they are all in different ages. :-)

  5. Your nephews sound like great kids. I love this recipe, what a great crostini! Got to try it soon!

  6. Great that you have nephews close to you! What fun to be an aunt!

    These crostini look so colorful, and what a great appetzier!

  7. I love recipes like this, simple - delicious and it looks gorgeous! This would be great at a summer picnic

  8. This looks delicious. Beautiful photos. I think you must have a thing for fava beans!

  9. I'm sure the kids adore having you as their Auntie. I have been on the lookout for some fava beans, and I sure am looking forward to the weekend. I hope to hit at least one of the farmer's markets. It's Thursday, woo hoo we are much closer to the weekend.

  10. I always love your crostini recipes! We grew fava beans for the first time this year - this is a great way to really taste their goodness :)

  11. I am liking this fresh idea for crostini! Looks fresh and amazing!

  12. I haven't seen this year fresh fava beans. wonder if it has something to do with the cold weather in late March and most of the April.

    P.s. it's already weekend where I'm right now! Have a fun one!

  13. What a delightful crostini! I almost picked up some fava beans at the farmers' market...need to go
    back :)

  14. Love the story! Someone learned his lesson, eh? ;) I agree with Jean, you are the crostini queen! (That could be your cookbook!)


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