March 31, 2012
Fava Bean Dip with Pecorino Romano and Garden Mint
Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc
Makes about 3 cups
This recipe from the Pike Place Market’s venerable Pink Door restaurant is courtesy of owner Jackie Roberts, a.k.a., La Padrona. This spring-time appetizer was inspired by Jackie’s fond memories of her grandfather eating raw fava beans along with a wedge of cheese, a hunk of crusty bread, and a glass of wine. Luckily, in her iteration, the favas are briefly cooked before puréeing with garlic, parsley, and olive oil to form a bright green spread.
4 to 5 pounds fresh fava beans in the shell
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 large clove garlic, coarsely chopped
3/4 to 1 cup olive oil
3/4 to 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper, or to taste
Bruschetta (recipe follows)
1 ounce Pecorino Romano cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1. To prepare the fava beans, remove the beans from the shells and discard the shells. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil and add the beans. Cook 30 to 60 seconds, drain, and rinse in cold water. When the beans are cool enough to handle, slit one side of the husk with the tip of a small, sharp kitchen knife, and pop out the bean inside. Repeat with the remaining beans, which should yield about 4 cups.
2. Place the beans, parsley, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until the beans resemble small pebbles. With the motor running, add the olive oil in a thin, slow stream until the fava beans reach a thick consistency, scraping down the sides of bowl once or twice. You may need anywhere from 3/4 to 1 cup of oil.
3. Transfer the bean mixture to a medium mixing bowl and stir in 3/4 cup of the lemon juice. Add additional lemon juice if necessary to reach a spreadable consistency. Stir in the salt and pepper, taste the purée, and add more salt or pepper if desired.
4. To serve, spread the fava bean purée on the bruschetta. Using a clean, dry vegetable peeler, shave curls of cheese over the brushetta and sprinkle with mint.
1 loaf crusty country bread, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, halved
1. Preheat the broiler. Arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet and place 3 to 4 inches from the heat source. Broil 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and rub one side of each bread slice with the halved cloves of garlic, then brush lightly with olive oil.
Cook’s Hint: Although your first instinct might be to use extra virgin olive oil in the fava bean purée, Jackie advises not using it in this particular recipe. It is too pungent and makes the purée bitter instead of buttery smooth. A good second-press olive oil does the job and is less expensive than extra virgin oil.