Fava Bean Crostini with Goat Cheese

Monday, June 11, 2012

Fava beans are part of spring's amazing bounty. Their large and flavorful, substantial and very slightly sweet when cooked just right. I usually blanch my fresh favas and then throw the beans into a salad or risotto, pasta dishes, or toss with some fresh mint, salt and pepper and olive oil for a side dish to grilled steak. Recently I craved my favorite appetizer -- crostini -- and turned the humble Fava into a creamy deliciousness of epic porportions. Course sea salt adds crunch while fresh garlic and mint adds just enough spice to make it interesting. I kept it quite simple, opting for just a good quality olive oil to do the job. Bringing the dish home is some fresh, piquant goat cheese crumbled on top. This is spring. This is fresh. This is easy and amazing. Enjoy.

Fava Bean Crostini with Fresh Goat Cheese
1 lb fresh fava beans, shelled and blanched*
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
course sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2-3 Tbp fresh mint leaves
good extra virgin olive oil
loaf of crusti artisan bread -- chiabatta, french, italian, etc.
fresh goat cheese

Place the beans, garlic, salt and pepper to taste, and the mint in a food processor and pulse until chopped fine. With the processesor on, stream in the olive oil until a chunky paste consistency forms -- around 2 tablespoons give or take. Slice bread thinly then spread some of the bean mixture on top. Add crumbled cheese and serve.

Can also be served as a dip with sliced bread, fresh vegetables, or crackers as well.

*Working with fresh fava beans requires just a few extra steps. First, remove the beans from their pods and set aside. Next, bring a small pot to a boil. Add the beans all at once to the water and cook until they cook bright green in color and float to the top -- about 5 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and place beans directly into an ice bath (bowl of water with ice) to stop the cooking process immediately. When the beans are cool enough to handle, gently open the bean's skin and pop out the bean. You can eat the skin as well, but it's a little tough. Store beans in an air-tight container and toss in your favorite pasta, salads, and risotto recipes all spring!

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