Like pomegranate and turmeric, fava beans are yet another food that my 9 year old self ate on the regular before it was a thing. I’m not taking any of the cool kid credit though. That all goes to my amazing parents and their experiences with these ingredients back home in Iran.
At first, as I was thinking back, I thought that how we ate favas was strange. We’d boil the beans, peel them, then dip the beans in balsamic vinegar. But then I realized…it’s like a Middle Eastern version of edamame!
You can think about this crostini in three parts: the toast, the ricotta spread, and the fava bean topping. Each part is pretty simple, but there a few things happening in parallel. At some point, you’ll have bread toasting in the oven, and a pot of water boiling, all while you’re chopping fresh mint. Trust me, this appetizer will come together quickly…then disappear the minute you set it in front of your friends.
There’s a good chance this might be your first time cooking with fava beans. They’re popping up everywhere on Instagram and Pinterest, not to mention on restaurant menus.
Prepping favas takes some time, but is totally doable within the 40 minute start to finish time for this recipe. Here are three steps to prep whole favas in the pod – and we’ve also written them in the recipe below:
- Remove beans from the pod. Use your fingers to snap off one of the ends, then split the pod apart to release the beans. If you find a string-like fiber in the seam of the pod, you can pull that to make the pod easier to open.
- Boil beans for 4 minutes. Then drain in a colander.
- Peel beans using your fingers. Yep, there’s one more layer to remove but this comes off easily now that the beans are cooked.
Now the favas are ready to be mixed with lemon juice, fresh chopped mint, olive oil, salt and pepper. Our friends at La Tourangelle gifted us a bottle of their Walnut Oil, so I substituted that for the olive oil and it tasted great! As you’d expect, it had a nuttier flavor but it was light enough to complement the other ingredients.
Did you try making this Fava Bean & Ricotta Crostini? Share your photo on Instagram with #confettikitchen, or leave a comment below!
What You Need
Olive oil (or walnut oil)
1 1/4 pounds fava beans, in pod
3/4 cup whole milk ricotta
1 small bunch fresh mint (~10 leaves)
Freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic
Serrated knife and cutting board (for slicing bread)
Pastry brush (optional)
Bowls: 2 small, 1 medium
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil.
Cut baguette into 1/2-inch slices using a serrated knife. Arrange slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Pour some olive oil in a small bowl, and brush it on each slice. If you don’t have a pastry brush, you can drizzle the oil straight from the bottle.
Place the baking sheet on the rack closest to the heat (top or bottom, depending on your oven). Bake for 8 minutes.
Cook fava beans.
While the bread is toasting, remove the fava beans from their pods by snapping off one of the ends and splitting the pod open with your fingers. Remove the beans and set aside.
Once the water is boiling, carefully drop in the beans and cook for 4 minutes. Drain the beans over a strainer and set aside.
Prep ricotta spread & topping.
Scoop the ricotta cheese (3/4 cup) into a small bowl. Zest the lemon and add it to the ricotta. Stir and set aside.
Chop the fresh mint to yield 1 tablespoon. Juice the lemon to yield 1/2 tbsp of juice. To a medium bowl, add the chopped mint, lemon juice, olive oil (1 1/2 tbsp), kosher salt (1/2 tsp), and black pepper (1/4 tsp).
Make fava mixture.
Peel the fava beans. It’s ok if the beans split or break as we’ll mash them up later.
Add the peeled beans to the mint-lemon mixture. Use a fork to break up the beans, leaving some beans whole. Taste and adjust salt as needed.
Spread and serve!
Peel the garlic clove and slice in half, crosswise. Rub the cut side of the garlic on top of each toast.
Spread the ricotta mixture on each toast, then top with a spoonful of the fava bean mixture. For optional garnish, you can add a drizzle of olive oil and flaky sea salt.
|Fresh mint||Dried mint - use 1/2 tbsp|
|Fava beans||Lima beans - skip the boiling step and just thaw|