Fresh Fava Bean Spread

After being encouraged to pounce on the nearest fresh favas for the nth time I finally gave in last year and bought some.  They are rather ugly over-sized beans that require two sets of peeling, and if they didn’t taste so good I’m afraid it would be rather easy to ignore them.  Unfortunately they have one of the most pleasant bean tastes I could have imagined, rather buttery and light, so this year I joined the fava cult and bought some more.  After first shelling all the oversized bean pods, boiling the beans for five minutes, and then peeling off the weird white coat each bean wears, I was in no mood for doing anything fancy with them.  Perhaps this is why people keep buying them though, because a drizzle of olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper is really all you need.  We ate them on toast in under 10 minutes.  I wish they’d lasted a little longer.

Fresh Fava Bean Spread
Fresh fava beans (1-2 pounds, unshelled)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Put a pot of water on to boil and salt it generously.  Shell the fava beans by peeling open the long pod and taking out the fava beans.  Boil the fava beans in the salted water for 5 minutes.  Drain the favas and immediately immerse them in cold water (this apparently helps them hold their bright green color).  Now comes the even more tedious part: peeling the white case off each fava bean.  The bright green fava meat is what you’re after.  The favas often fall apart in the process, so be careful.  Once the fava beans are all peeled, mix them up with a spoon and try to crush many of them to make a spread (fingers work well for fava crushing too).  You could probably use a food-processor, but I honestly wouldn’t want to waste the fava bean paste left on the inside of the food-processor bowl.  Mix the fava bean spread with a drizzle of olive oil and season with a dash of salt and pepper, to taste.

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