Grilled Fava Crostini

Last week I received a jar of herb sea salt from Woody’s Gourmet, as a preview of what’s coming in this month’s Tasting Box from Foodzie, and a challenge to use the ingredient in a recipe worth sharing.

After smelling and tasting the salt, my first inclination was to simply sprinkle it over fresh tomatoes, which I’m starting to see at the farmers market. The flavors from the herbs were incredible with the raw tomato! But that’s not much of a recipe, so started to experiment with fava beans (also found at the farmers market).

At last month’s Eat Retreat, I learned how to make a fava crostini from fellow-retreater Lauren Ladoceour. This is my take:

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds fava beans, in the pod
  • 3-4 Tbsps. virgin olive oil, plus 1 Tbsp. for the bread
  • 1 Tbsp. water, plus more as needed for desired texture
  • 3-4 leaves fresh mint
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 tsp. Woody’s Gourmet Fresh Basil & Lemongrass Herb Sea Salt
  • 2 oz. parmigiano reggiano
  • 1 loaf seed bread or thin baguette, sliced thin and toasted

Instructions

Fire up the grill (I like mine about 400°F). Line up the fava pods—if you can’t fit all of them at once, grill them in stages. Close the lid on the grill and cook for 4-5 minutes; flip, then cook for another 4-5 minutes. A little char is good for flavor, but if you leave them on too long, the beans will start to dry out and will be difficult to shell.

Remove the cooked pods from the grill, and let cool (this only takes a few minutes). Zest the lemon; squeeze and reserve 1/2 of its juice. Using the zester or a microplane, grate the cheese and set aside.

Once cool, peel the pods and pile the beans in a bowl. Now comes the fun part: use a fingernail to open each bean shell and squeeze the bean out. If you’re scaling the recipe for a larger serving, get comfortable.

Once shelled, combine the beans, 2 Tbsps. of the olive oil, water, mint, lemon zest and juice, and lightly mash to combine—use a stick blender cream everything together. Taste and adjust flavors as desired. Fold in 1 Tbsp. of the olive oil to add texture and make the mixture easy to spread.

Heat an oven to 400°F; slice the bread and toast until crispy. In a small bowl, mix the herb sea salt in 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Brush the mixture over the toasted bread.

To serve, spoon the fava mixture on the oiled bread, and top top with the parmigiano reggiano.

Makes 8-10 servings

3 Responses to “Grilled Fava Crostini”

  1. Nicole
    May 3, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    I fell in love with fava beans in Sicily and I’ve been eyeing them at the Farmer’s Market, but haven’t bought any yet this season. Love the idea of grilling them! Guess I’d better pick some up tomorrow and give it a try!

    • james
      May 3, 2011 at 4:40 pm #

      Grilling is my go-to method for just about everything – especially this time of year 🙂

      I hadn’t tried favas before Eat Retreat, but I really like the texture and flavor. It’s also a fun food to play with, since you *have* to shell each bean.

  2. Phillip
    May 17, 2011 at 2:02 am #

    I’m grilling some tonight, the weather be damned!

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