This comes as a result of good timing between a large bag of fresh fava beans coming in from one of our first CSA baskets this summer and a recipe posted in the Washington Post. It takes a bit of time, so put on some music and have a drink handy, but it’s a delicious side or a lunch unto itself.
For this you’ll need: a large bag fava beans (still in their husks), about 3/4 cup peas (we used some frozen peas for this, but using fresh peas is even better), 1/2 onion (finely chopped), 3 Tbsp salt, 3 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint, and sliced ciabatta bread.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 2 Tbsp salt, stir a bit until the salt dissolves.
Meanwhile, get the fava beans out of their husks – breaking them apart with your hands and place them in a separate bowl. (If you’re using fresh peas as well, shuck them as well.)
Get a large bowl and fill it with cold water and a full tray of ice. Set this aside.
Place the beans in the boiling/salted water for 2-3 minutes. (If you’re using frozen peas, place them in a small sieve and drop them into the boiling water to defrost them – maybe a minute, then set aside).
Drain the beans, saving about 1/2 cup of the hot water, and quickly place them into the ice water.
You will need to remove the skins from the blanched beans. To do this, pinch one end to break a hole in the skin and then squeeze the bean out with another pinch from the other end into a bowl. It should squeeze out easily.
Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a skillet and quickly fry the chopped onion, until translucent – about 2 mins. Add the (skinned) beans/peas, the reserved water and a little more salt and cook over high heat until the water has reduced to less than half – about 5-8 minutes.
Slice your bread into 1/4″-3/8″ slices and toast – either under a broiler or in a toaster. Place them on a plate and gently drizzle additional olive oil over the top of them.
Place the beans/peas/onion/water mixture into a food processor or blender, add mint, lemon juice and about 1 Tbsp (or less, you don’t want it too soupy) olive oil and blend well. It shouldn’t be too thick or too thin – just a bit thinner than a good peanut butter.
Let the whole thing cool for a bit and then spread, generously, over the toasted bread and serve.