Monday, July 19, 2010

What's Cookin?: Grilled Bruschetta with Fava Bean Puree and Pecorino

Since I've never worked with fava beans before, here's a tip from me to you. After shelling the favas, you need to cook them and peel off the casing around the bean itself before eating.

Here's the recipe I tried with my Farmer's Market fava beans. I bought a new cookbook and love the recipes in it thus far. I'll have to blog about the book later. I made some minor adjustments to this recipe and indicated my changes at the end in asteriks.

Grilled Bruschetta with Fava Bean Puree and Pecorino
From: Eating Local by Janet Fletcher

2 - 2 1/2 lbs fresh fava beans (to yield 2 c. shelled, unpeeled beans)
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
1 large clove garlic, minced
9 fresh basil leaves
kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 slices Italian country bread, about 1/2 inch thick & 3 inches long
aged sheep's milk cheese (such as pecorino toscano, Manchego or ricotta salata)

1) Prepare a moderate charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill to medium. **I toasted my bread instead**

2) Remove the fava beans from their pods.
Bring a pot of water to boil over high heat. Prepare a bowl of ice water. Add the fava beans to the boiling water and boil for 1 1/2 minutes, or a little longer if the beans are large. Drain in a colander, then transfer to the ice water to stop the cooking. When the beans are cool, drain them again. To peel them, pierce the skin with your fingernail, the inner bean should slip out easily.

3) Heat 1 Tbsp of the olive oil in a small skillet over moderate heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

4) Put the peeled fava beans, the sauteed garlic and oil, 3 basil leaves & the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil in a small food processor. Pulse until nearly but not completely smooth; leave the spread slightly coarse. Transfer to a bowl and stir in salt and pepper to taste. **I found that I needed to add more olive oil to get the consistency that I wanted with the spread**

5) Grill the bread on both sides directly over the coals or gas flame until golden brown. Top each toast with some of the fava spread, dividing it evenly. Drizzle with some olive oil. Shave or grate some cheese over each toast. Garnish with a basil leaf. Serve immediately. **I used Parmesan cheese instead**