Friday, May 23, 2014

Fava Bean Crostini | Friday Night Bites

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 Asia, Europe, the Middle East 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!

Fava Bean Crostini

2 C. Fava Beans
5 T. Olive oil + 1 T. Olive oil
3 Garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ t. Fresh thyme leaves
1 t. Salt
1 t. White vinegar

Olive oil for brushing

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.


  1. Lovely, lush photos! (I adore all things green.) :D
    Fava beans shall always call to mind The Silence of the Lambs, but yours do look tasty!

  2. Your brilliant green crostini look so inviting and tasty, a must make when I stumble upon some fava beans!

  3. Lisa, this is an amazing recipe and the photos are just gorgeous. I LOVE the color of the fava bean puree, just beautiful!!!

  4. Looks so beautiful and tempting.. love he presentation!

  5. i am loving the green color of the fava bean and i would eat these any day of the night let alone friday! Such a vibrant dish

  6. What a beautiful green color on crostini! I like the way you used fava beans - something I have never thought of! Especially when they create such a gorgeous and appetizing color... this is perfect for entertaining too!

  7. Such a beautiful color! I haven't cooked much with fava beans (sadly). I can't wait to try this recipe!


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