Saturday, September 14, 2013

Fava Bean Pesto

Fava beans are still a fairly new food to my palette - and I adore them. If I had to guess, most folks look at them and don't know what to do with them. Others might have tasted them and thought they didn't like them. But for those of us that have figured out that if you get fresh fava beans, and prepare and cook them just right - they are divine.

This recipe is an example of that.

It is a labor of love. And if you have a little one - this might be done in steps (as outlined below) over a day or two (I've written the steps in the order I would suggest if you can't do this all at once). And trust me, it's just as good that way. If you have an older little one (3+ years old), enlist them to help! And if you are just plain busy, still try this on a weekend when you find good, fresh fava beans.

3-4 cups shelled fava beans (I started with about 3/4 of a plastic bag full of whole fava beans)
1/2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
1-2 cloves garlic (garlic adds spice here so adjust for your taste)
Salt and Pepper
1/2 Cup of more of olive oil

Step 1: Take the fava beans out of their shell
Step 2: Boil the fava beans for 5 minutes (don't go beyond this)
Step 3: Let cool and peel the outer shell. Note that you can keep this on, but it's bitter. Especially for a toddler taste - it's probably best to peel all the way.
Step 4: In a food processor, pulse the garlic. Then the pinenuts. Then add the beans and the olive oil and salt and pepper. 

The more (and higher quality olive oil) and salt you add, the more it will mellow the flavor. 

Our recent favorites to use this on are:
1. Quinoa pasta (we love this one) - Our little one GOBBLED this pasta up. To enrich it you can add frozen or fresh peas. To make a bit more fancy, you can add truffle oil. 
2. Make zucchini 'noodles' using something like this, and saute a bit and then toss a few tablespoons of this in. 

Here is an old fava bean posting for something with skins on 

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