FAVA BEAN CROSTINI
This recipe is all about the favas. They're in season from May to June where I live, and I love to fill up on them at the farmers market. To me they connote the beginning of warm weather and summer produce; all happy thoughts as far as I’m concerned. So why not enjoy them piled on a tiny piece of toast? This is a simple crostini that, in addition to being loaded up with fava beans, includes preserved lemon, mint and a dollop of pine nut cream.
Fava Bean Crostini
Makes about 18 pieces
-1 ½ lbs. fava beans in shell or about 10 oz. shelled
-¼ piece of a preserved lemon (or a squeeze of lemon, but the preserves are worth it!)
-1 small handful mint + extra for garnish
-1 tbsp olive oil + extra
-½ cup pine nut cream
-1 baguette, cut into ½-inch slices
1. Shuck fava beans and add them to a pot of salted, boiling water. Turn down heat and simmer beans for about 3 minutes. During the last minute of boiling, add the piece of preserved lemon to the water. Drain and put favas directly into an ice bath. Set lemon piece aside.
2. Meanwhile, brush the slices of bread with olive oil and toast in a 350-degree oven to your desired crunchiness. I like about 5 minutes or so. The bread will just show faint signs of browning but has become crispy. Set aside to cool.
3. When the fava beans have cooled, remove whitish-green casings by squeezing them with your thumb and forefinger and popping out the bright green bean. Sometimes I have to tear the casings a bit to coax them out.
4. In a food processor, add the beans, preserved lemon, mint, and 1 tbsp olive oil. Process until incorporated but not too long. I like it to have a bit of texture or a rough, paste-like consistency. Taste and salt as needed.
5. To assemble each piece, put a spoonful of the fava mixture on the toast. Gently press the mixture down with your figure to create a well. Spoon a bit of the pine nut cream into the well and top with more mint, a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of flaky sea salt if you so desire. Serve immediately.