While I was on Orcas Island over the weekend, my sister-in-law fixed some delicious fava beans, so tiny and fresh, there was no need for skinning. She prepared them very simply — steamed along with snow peas and green beans, topped with butter. She went out just before dinner to pick them from the garden and within an hour they were all consumed. I had more than my fair share. I saw fava beans on Saturday at the Orcas Island Farmers Market and was inspired to re-post this recipe for fava bean puree served with my favorite croccantini from La Panzanella.
Ingredients for about 11/4 cups fava bean puree
2 lbs fava beans in the shell
2T olive oil
3 garlic cloves
2 sprigs rosemary
salt to taste
Shell the fava beans. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Blanch the shelled beans for about 1 minute, then scoop out with a slotted spoon and drop into a bowl of ice water. Drain and remove the skin of each bean.
Mince garlic and rosemary leaves. Heat olive oil in a saute pan. Add garlic, rosemary, beans, salt and 2T water. Let the beans cook, adding more water as it cooks off. Depending on the size and age of the beans, they should be soft in about 5-10 minutes. Using a wooden spoon try mashing the beans. When they are soft, remove from the heat. Add another splash of olive oil and more salt if needed. I used a hand blender to finish the puree but you can also use the back of a spoon or a food mill.
Serve at room temperature smeared on your favorite crackers.
A version of this recipe can be found in The Art of Simple Food, by Alice Waters.