Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fava Bean Puree

From 'The Very Best of Recipes for Health' by Martha Rose Shulman

You find variations on this fava bean puree in Southern Italy, the Middle East and Morocco. This one, from Apulia, is the simplest. The puree should have the texture of hummus.

Serves 8

4 pounds fava beans, shelled
Salt to taste (about 1 teaspoon)
1 garlic clove, mashed in a mortar and pestle with 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
imported black olives for garnish

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Drop the shelled fava beans in the water, and boil five minutes (if the beans are small or medium-size) to eight minutes (if the beans are large). Transfer the beans immediately to the cold water. Do not drain the water in the pot. Allow the beans to cool for several minutes, then drain and slip off their skins.

2. Place the skinned fava beans, salt and mashed garlic in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Turn on the machinem and with the machine running, add the olive oil in a slow stream. Process until you achieve a smooth puree. If necessary, add enough of the cooking water to give the puree a soft, hummus-like consistency. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, taste and adjust seasoning.

3. Mound the puree onto an earthenware platter or in a wide bowl. Garnish with olives, and serve with crostini or warm triangles of pita bread.

This week keep for three or four days in the refrigerator.

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