Last Sunday I picked my last fava beans for this year. The exquisitely delicate favas of early spring are long gone. Now I have on my kitchen counter flavorful, starchy beans, that hold their own paired with other strong flavors. To celebrate this year’s abundance of favas and to say goodbye to a vegetable I so love, I’d like to share with you in the next few posts the ways we are enjoying them right now.
Let’s start with with the largest and starchiest favas. We’ll make a spread for toast or crostini, which we can turn into a dip for chips or even a soup, if we dilute it a bit.
Late Season Fava Bean Spread
- A cup or two of fava beans, skinned. Shell the favas. Drop them in a pot of boiling water for a couple of minutes. Pop them out of their skin when cool to the touch.
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup of your favorite olive oil
- Herbs from the garden: mint, rosemary, oregano, thyme, whatever you’ve got…
- Chile powder to taste. I used a Velarde chile powder from New Mexico. I like smoked paprika from Spain too. Use your favorite.
- A few cloves of garlic, to taste. I just used one or two cloves of Inchelium Red from my freezer, since last year I got some very pungent garlic.
And now that your favas are ready and you’ve gathered all those ingredients, put them all together in a food processor or blender and press the button until you like the consistency. Scoop it into a pretty bowl and serve it with mini toasts, crackers or chips.
This is all there is to it, or almost all. I like to start blending with about two tablespoons of oil and add more little by little until I get the consistency I’m after. For a spread I want it thicker so I’ll add less oil. For a dip I’ll add more oil so it is a bit more liquid (substitute water for some of the oil if you are concerned about calories). If I want to make a soup, I’ll use some olive oil, but I’ll add mostly vegetable or chicken broth, lots of it. Keep tasting, adding broth and adjusting the seasonings until you like the soup.
I am sure there are more variations of this basic fava spread that one can come up with. For instance you can also dice some bacon, fry it with some onions and blend it with everything else to make a deeper and richer soup, or you can add some cream to it. Try different flavorings, try different proportions and consistencies. It is hard to go wrong with this late season fava spread-dip-soup.