Meatless Monday – Crostini with Fava Beans and Lemon Ricotta

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Working with fresh fava beans is a labor of love, so this makes a perfect dish for someone you love, like your Mother! What a wonderful Mother’s Day breakfast, brunch  or appetizer for that special lady in your life! I love this combination of  crusty toasted ciabatta topped with a creamy ricotta flavored with lemon and parmesan and then piled high with fresh fava beans, spring onions, lemon zest, basil and mint.  Mmmm….It’s pretty too, especially adorned with a sprig of purple basil from my garden!

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Fava beans must be removed from their large outer pod and then skinned, a two step process which is time consuming but well worth it, for the resulting beans are tender and delicious – and only available for a few weeks every year.  If you don’t want to spend the time or you can’t find fava beans, you can substitute fresh or frozen edamame, lima beans or peas.

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Fava Beans are not only delicious, they are nutrient dense, which means they provide a lot of nutrients for a relatively small number of calories. Fava beans, also called broad beans, are very high in protein and dietary fiber and loaded with beneficial antioxidants, vitamins, important phytonutrients and minerals, including iron which is harder to come by for those on a vegetarian diet.

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TIPS:  In figuring out how many Fava beans to buy, keep in mind that one cup of fava beans turns into about a half cup once they are shelled.  A large bunch of pods (1 pound) will yield only about a cup of shelled beans depending on size.  The smaller beans are sweeter and more tender than the larger ones and cooking times vary but only by a minute or two.

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CROSTINI WITH FAVA BEANS, SPRING ONIONS AND LEMON RICOTTA

1 large bunch(1 lb) fava beans(or 1 cup shelled edamame, peas or lima beans)
1 spring onion or 2 scallions (white part only)
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
6-8 slices ciabatta or sourdough bread (or about a dozen baguette slices)

Ricotta Mixture:
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons good-quality olive oil
2 Tbsn lemon juice (reserve lemon zest)
1/2 teaspoon salt

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  • Remove fava beans from their outer pod by cutting or bending the tip and ‘unzipping’ them by pulling the side string off.

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  • The shells also need to be removed.  Either slice and peel them off and then boil the beans for 1-2 minutes (depending on their size) or  boil in their shells for 3-4 minutes and then remove the shells by cutting or squeezing them out.  Either way, it’s a two step process. Very young fava beans may not need to be shelled and can be eaten raw or par boiled for 30 seconds.

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  • Run cold water over cooked beans to stop the cooking process and set aside.

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  • Combine all Ricotta ingredients and set aside to let the flavors develop.

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  • Thinly slice the spring onion and slice mint and basil into ribbons (also known as chifonnade)

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  • Combine fava beans, onion, mint, basil, lemon zest and olive oil in a large bowl.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

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  • Broil bread slices in a single layer for several minutes on each side until golden brown.

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  • Top each slice of bread with ricotta mixture and then top with a spoonful of fava beans.

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  • Serve whole or cut in half at room temperature (and kiss your Mom).

Crostini with Fava Beans & Lemon Ricotta

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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1 large bunch fava beans(or 1 cup shelled edamame, peas or lima beans)
1 spring onion or 2 scallions (white part only)
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
6-8 slices ciabatta or sourdough bread (or about a dozen baguette slices)

Ricotta Mixture:
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons good-quality olive oil
2 Tbsn lemon juice (reserve lemon zest)
1/2 teaspoon salt

  • Remove fava beans from their outer pod by cutting or bending the tip and ‘unzipping’ them by pulling the side string off.  The shells also need to be removed.  Either slice and peel them off and then boil the beans for 1-2 minutes (depending on their size) or  boil fin their shells for 3-4 minutes and then remove their shells by cutting or squeezing them out.  Either way, it’s a two step process. Run cold water over cooked beans to stop the cooking process and set aside.
  • Combine all Ricotta ingredients and set aside to let the flavors develop.
  • Thinly slice the spring onion and slice mint and basil into ribbons (also known as chifonnade)
  • Combine fava beans, onion, mint, basil, lemon zest and olive oil in a large bowl.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Broil bread slices in a single layer for several minutes on each side until golden brown.
  • Top each slice of bread with ricotta mixture and then top with a spoonful of fava beans.
  • Serve at room temperature (and kiss your Mom).

2 thoughts on “Meatless Monday – Crostini with Fava Beans and Lemon Ricotta

  1. Is “boil fin” a cooking term or a typo? It is under how to peel the fava bean.

    I love favas! Also great sauteed with butter and sage (burro e salvia).

    Love, Barbara

    Barbara Sherman Paradisos del Sol Winery 3230 Highland Dr, Zillah, WA 98953 Facebook.com/ParadisosdelSol ParadisosdelSol.com Open daily 11-6 509.829.9000

    Like

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