FAVA BEAN TOAST WITH MINT, LEMON, AND PARMIGIANO REGGIANO
With spring comes the fava beans. Even though they are a bit of work to prepare, I think it is totally worth it and they are a special treat during this time of year. We had a lot of fava beans in Italy and I have been playing around with them ever since I got home. Here is a recipe for a simple Fava Bean Toast with Mint, Lemon and Parmigiano Reggiano. If you are gluten free, you can just make the fava bean mash and skip the bread. Enjoy!
2 pounds of fava beans in the pod
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup water
pink himalayan salt
2 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
freshly ground black pepper
favorite country loaf or olive bread, cut into thick slices and toasted
Shell the beans. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Blanch the beans for 1 minute to loosen the skin, drain, and cool in an ice bath. Peel the beans using your thumbnail to tear the skin, and squeeze out the bean.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium sauce pan, add the beans, water, and a generous pinch of salt. Cook the beans on low for 10 minutes, or until they are very soft. If necessary, add more water as they are cooking. Mash the beans with a potato masher or the back of a spoon. You want a rough mash, with some large pieces of fava bean remaining. Add 2 more tablespoons of oil. Press the garlic cloves through a garlic press into the bean mixture and cook for 2 minutes on low, stirring as it cooks. Remove from the heat. Add the chopped mint, freshly ground black pepper, and the juice from one lemon. Taste. Season with sea salt as necessary.
To serve, top your toasted bread with a drizzle of olive oil. Scoop a generous amount of the fava bean mash onto the toast. Top with a few shavings of parmigiano reggiano, freshly ground black pepper, and a generous squeeze of lemon juice. Serve immediately.