Wednesday’s Santa Monica Farmers’ Market had so many treasures on display including huge piles of fresh, puffy, bright green fava beans. Luckily, McGrath’s Family Farm stand sells fresh shelled fava beans in ½ pound and 1 pound bags.
Fava beans or Ava Frescas, or some call them Ful, are a Sephardic and Mediterranean favorite. There a many dishes such as favas stewed with lamb, favas with artichoke hearts, and favas with fried onions and tomato sauce to name a few.
Recently at several trendy restaurants here in Los Angeles I noticed dishes like seared salmon served over a bed of pureed fava with mint. Or some flavored fava puree served with hot from the oven foccacia. Wonderful!
Last Friday night I tried my hand at fava bean spread or hummus for the Shabbat Challah. Try this you won’t be disappointed. It is so healthy and delicious.
1 pound of shelled fresh fava beans
1/4 cup or to taste fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup tahini paste
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup loosely packed mint leaves
Wash the fava beans and if they are not shelled, shell them. Place the fava beans in a shallow pan and cover with cold water. Bring the liquid to a boil and boil the beans for about 3-5 minutes in order that they cook through and release the second skin. Rinse the favas under cold water and peal off the second skin. Place the drained beans in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients. Pulse to puree. Taste and adjust salt and lemon to your liking.
I served the fava bean hummus at a Friday night dinner of Challah, grilled veal chops, baked sweet potatoes, steamed asparagus, and Brussels sprouts.