The Girl And The Fava Bean Bruschetta
Once upon a time there was a girl walking around a farmers market with her family. After buying a cookie that she ended up regretting, she continued walking hand in hand with her two darling children as they dirtied their faces and hands with the sweet treats she had just bought them. As they occupied themselves with sugar, she glanced from side to side and quickly surveyed the goods each vendor showcased, while at the same time trying to catch up to her husband who had walked on ahead. She wasn’t all that taken by anything she had passed and didn’t feel an urge to stop and look further. She wondered if she would find something she couldn’t live without or if she would simply go away with nothing but a small sugar rush. Continuing down the vendor lined aisle, she looked over at a shaded booth with a darling little lady in a cute hat. With a smile on her face, she so sweetly and contently helped her customers select and bag up the fruits and vegetable she had that day. “I like her,” the girl thought to herself….”I want to get a closer look at what she is offering.” After passing the line of people busy with choosing their favorite selections, her eyes caught site of a crate at the back corner of the table, piled high with lovely bright green fava beans. She smiled. She couldn’t contain her excitement at the site of this beautiful bunch a green pods that she had so often heard about in stories and cookbooks but had yet to try in a recipe for herself. She knew right away that they were what she was supposed to take home with her that day. With contentment in her heart she happily filled a bag with the fava beans. “I know exactly what I will do with them,” she said to herself.
That afternoon she returned home with her family and started flipping through all of her Italian cookbooks, looking tirelessly for the recipe that accompanied the picture she had floating around in her head. Pretty green fava beans piled on little bruschetta toasts with olive oil and large thin slices of pecorino cheese…”I can see it so clearly” she said to herself…where is it? After looking through every book she had, and with no recipe to be found, she finally gave up ….wondering if it was something she had dreamed or simply seen in the pages of a passing magazine. Left with just the picture in her head, a desire to create something, and a bowl full of fava beans, she decided to put her own bruschetta recipe together. This is what she did…..
Fava bean and arugula bruschetta
1 cup shelled fava beans (1 - 1 1/4 lbs in pods) - 1 cup Edamame can be substituted when fava beans are not available.
1 cup tightly packed arugula
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/4 cup finely grated pecorino cheese
4 oz chèvre cheese (if desired)
1/4 cup olive oil plus extra for drizzling
Salt and pepper to taste
Chives for garnish (if desired)
Basil for garnish (if desired)
Slice baguette to desired thickness, drizzle with olive oil and a light sprinkling of salt and broil until lightly golden brown. Repeat on other side if desired. Set to the side and let cool.
Shell the fava beans and blanch in a pot of boiling water for 3-4 minutes or until cooked. Remove beans and place in a bowl of ice water to stop them from cooking further. Take the skin off of the beans by pinching lightly on the end.
Place the cooled beans in a food processor and pulse a few times or until they are roughly chopped. Remove half of the mixture and place in a large bowl.
To the remaining beans in the processor, add half of the arugula, pecorino cheese, 1/4 cup of olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste. Puree until smooth, adding additional salt, pepper or lemon juice if desired.
Chop up the remaining arugula into desired size pieces and along with the pureed fava beans, add to the bowl with the roughly chopped beans. Mix to combine.
Spread a thin layer of the chèvre cheese on each toast and then top with fava beans. Garnish with basil and chives.
Serve and enjoy!
That evening the light was just right as her family sat patiently waiting for her to take pictures of the finished dish so that it could finally be enjoyed. The table was set, the sun was setting and there was a light breeze carrying away the heat from the hot summer’s day. Birds swished and swayed happily in the early evening sky as the hummingbirds buzzed back and forth and the curious bees stopped by to say hello before being sent on their way. Except for the constant reminding to the 3 year old that dinner was on the table and that she couldn’t just eat bread and chèvre, everything was calm and relaxing….and the fava bean bruschetta was everything she had hoped…in a beautiful and delicious way. They sat and enjoyed what was before them and around them, and as the light outside started to fade and the wine glasses started to empty, they decided it was time to say goodbye to the day and the mosquitoes. The girl’s heart and soul were satisfied from the adventures of the day, the recipe, and the time with her family. That night she went to sleep happily and dreamed of moments to come and dishes to make. She most definitely lived happily ever after.