I’m Kristina - freelance graphic designer, backyard farmer, cookbook reader, project starter, and new mom to a gorgeous little boy.

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May 11, 2011

Fava bean purée

Apologies for the sporadic posting as of late. Life is just requiring a bit more attention at the moment. And we’re all sick over here, thanks to plane travel and such. Blah.

There’s still a few weeks, maybe a month, left of fava bean season and I urge you very strongly to hunt them down and make this recipe. It will be so worth it, I swear. Fava beans are like baby artichokes in that they seem fussy and complicated, but like artichokes they’re actually very easy, if a bit time consuming.

I’ve actually never made the complete recipe, as directed by Ms. Goin, with the oil- cured olives and parsley and such. But I’m sure it would be magnificent. The simple version is quite decadent tasting on it’s own so if you’d like to abandon the finishing touches, I’m sure you won’t miss a thing. As you can see in my pic, we ate it on rustic toast with a bit of feta, chives, and fennel tips. But I do plan to try the olive and feta salad too.

Fava bean purée
from Sunday Suppers at Lucques, again.

for the purée
2 1/2 pounds fava beans in the pod
1 smallish sprig of rosemary
1 chile de arbol, dried (or other if you don’t have)
1/2 lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 c olive oil

Prepare the favas (you can do this in the morning before you make the purée, or a day ahead even): Remove beans from the pods. I recommend doing this while you’re doing something else. Like watching TV or a movie, or feeding the baby dinner. It’s a bit tedious and does not require your full attention.

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the beans in the pods and blanch for ~2 minutes. Drain the beans in a colander and cool them with ice water, then slip them out of their outer shells with your fingers.

Heat a medium heavy-bottomed saute pan over low heat. Add the olive oil, the rosemary spring and the chile. To be honest I think 3/4 c is a little heavy handed, so you could consider cutting it down a bit. Sizzle the rosemary and chile for a few minutes, then add the minced garlic. Cook the garlic for another minute, then add the favas, 3/4 teaspoon of sea salt and a few grinds of pepper. Simmer the beans for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally until they’re tender. Strain the beans, reserving the oil. Discard the rosemary and chile, then transfer the beans to a food processor and purée until smooth. Adding a bit more of the reserved oil if need be. Squeeze in a bit of lemon and taste for seasoning. At this point you can add a bit more oil or a bit more salt and pepper, depending on your preference.

To finish:
1/2 cup pitted, cured olives, sliced in half
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley leaves
1/4 french feta
more lemon

Toss the olives and parsley with a drizzle of olive oil. Gently add the french feta and a squeeze of lemon, plus a bit of salt and pepper.

Spoon the purée into the center of a plate. Lay the salad over the top, and serve with garlic-rubbed slices of toasted baguette.

Or just eat it by the spoonful, or with little crusts of bread. I bet this would make a most amazing soup, if thinned out with some stock. Have I convinced you all to buy the book yet? If you need more convincing, here’s the recipe for that amazing beet salad I posted a picture months ago. I realized I forgot to tell you that Melanie had posted it. It’s divine.


  1. Katy said on May 11, 2011

    This looks so yummy. Fava beans are a local specialty in Santorini, Greece. We were there in March, and being vegetarian, I was in love with trying all of the different dishes they were in. My baby loved them, too. Thanks for posting a recipe for them…I may have to see if I can find some to make at home!

  2. Melanie said on May 11, 2011

    i actually posted this waaaaaaay back. when we lived somewhere where there was never a good place to tke a picture so it looks not so great. yours looks much prettier though i swear mine was delish in person:)

  3. evylynn said on May 11, 2011

    I have the cookbook, and still haven’t made anything out of it! Whenever I flip through it, I get a bit daunted. But, this is just the inspiration I need to pull it out again. Thanks!

  4. mrs. may said on May 12, 2011

    Ok, I’m convinced– If my food will turn out this pretty, I’m buying the book! :)

  5. katie said on May 12, 2011

    I bought favas for the first time yesterday and then came and saw this recipe and it had to be mine! It was a great introduction to the world of fava :)

  6. Alie said on May 12, 2011

    Looks delish!! I must hunt down some fava beans. I love the touch of the fennel fronds:).

  7. Caroline said on May 15, 2011

    This looks delicious!!!

  8. Cole said on June 5, 2011

    I just whipped up this pretty little recipe and I’m loving it! It gave me a whole new appreciation for favas! Thanks for sharing. And yes, I’m sold on Ms. Goin’s book!

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