Monday, September 1, 2014

Fava Bean Spread

During my recent visit to Poland I noticed that fava beans had become very present at farmers' markets. Some sellers offered them in pods but most often they were sold in bags, already shelled. Fava was displayed in large quantities at every stand and seemed even more popular that cabbage. I also saw fava beans on the menu of many restaurants, among them at the restaurant offering molecular cuisine.

Inspired by this newly discovered popularity of fava beans in my native country, I decided to post today a fava bean spread, which I had made just before I went to Poland.

Since fava bean has always been very popular in the Mediterranean cuisine, I decided to use in my spread some of the quality ingredients of this region. I cooked fava, puréed it, and seasoned it with olive oil, lemon juice, and thick Greek yogurt. You cannot ever go wrong with such ingredients so the spread turned out very tasty. At a midsummer party we threw in our garden, it become a big hit and many guests asked for the recipe.

Fava must be double shelled so the spread is smooth and delicate. You can husk it after cooking or use the frozen double-shelled fava bean, which you can buy some food stores. This spread can be served on a fresh baguette or on crispy crostini with extra shredded asiago cheese on top. You can also use it as a dip with baked pita chips or grissini.

Fava Bean Spread

1 lb fava beans, double shelled,
1 small garlic clove
2 tbsp lemon juice,
3 tbsp olive oil,
3 tbsp cup Greek yogurt, or Lebne Kefir Cheese,
1/2 small red onion,
2 tbsp fresh mint leaves, optional
salt and pepper to taste.

1. Cook fava beans until soft. For double-shelled it will be about 5 minutes, for other about 20 minutes, after which you cool the beans and husk from white skins.

2. Place beans in a blender, add lemon juice, 2 tbsp olive oil, garlic and purée until almost smooth.
3.Add yogurt or Lebne cheese, season with salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly. You can also add chopped mint.
4. Transfer spread to a medium serving bowl, drizzle with the remaining olive oil and decorate with slices of red onion.

Serve at room temperature as a spread

or a dip.

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