Sunday, April 27, 2014

Fava Bean, Green Garlic, and Parsley Pesto

Fava Pesto on Leaf Lettuce, Grape Tomatoes, and Hard Cooked Eggs
Fava Pesto Over Salad

Adapted from Unknown Source

Every spring I have the same challenge: finding new recipes with fava beans that my husband will like. Our CSA provides plenty of favas every year. For the farmer they are an early and prolific crop that also enriches the soil with usable nitrogen. Favas’ strong and distinct flavor requires equally strong flavors for balance and compliment. Tomatoes and paprika, cumin, yogurt, and cayenne, and radishes, mustard, and vinegar with favas are past combinations that work well. I hadn’t much hope for the pesto idea, since cheese flavor has a similar tang to favas. Yet with the green garlic, lemon, and parsley, the flavors balance out. Bonus: unlike basil pesto, fava bean pesto stays bright green for days without any fussing to exclude air.

Fava Bean Pesto with Carrot Sticks
Fava Bean Pesto = Novel & Yummy Dip
Green garlic is in season at the same time as favas. Our CSA puts it into our early spring shares, and it can also be found at Farmers’ Markets. It’s milder than dried garlic, and depending upon the stage of development cloves may or may not be separated. Generally the more individualized the cloves, the stronger the garlic. My green garlic had separated into cloves; you might want to add more if yours has not. If you can’t find green garlic, substitute 2 cloves of dried.

Food Processor with Pureed Favas plus Parmesan, salt, and pepper
All Good Ingredients
Fava beans are sold in the pod, and the size and quantity of beans in a given group of pods varies. You want to end up with 1 cup of shelled and skinned beans. Starting with 1½ lbs. is an approximation. If you end up with significantly fewer or more than 1 cup when they’re peeled, adjust the recipe proportionately.

Egg, Tomato, and Lettuce is just one idea for Fava Pesto Salad
Or Try with a Different Salad
Fava Bean, Green Garlic, and Parsley Pesto
Makes ~ 1½ cups

1½ lb. fresh fava beans
~4 cloves green garlic
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
¼ - 1/3 cup olive oil
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
scant ¼  tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper, black or mixed peppercorns
¼ cup fresh parsley leaves

Prepare Fava Beans:

Remove fava beans from pods.

Fill medium mixing bowl with ice water and set aside.

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add fava beans and bring back to boil. Cook until skin loosens, about 1 minute.

Remove favas with slotted spoon and drop into ice water. Drain when cool enough to handle

Peel favas: pinch a small hole opposite the vine end with fingernails. Pop favas out into bowl.

Measure out 1 cup of fava beans. If you have more or fewer,  you may adjust the recipe proportionately.

Make Pesto:

Place fava beans and halved green garlic cloves into food processor. Pulse until coarsely pureed, scraping down sides as necessary.

Add lemon juice and ¼ cup olive oil. Puree until smooth, scraping down sides as needed.

Add Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper and process briefly to combine. If too dry, add more olive oil or 1 – 2 tbsp. water.

Add parsley leaves and process briefly until leaves are cut into small bits.

Serve with carrot sticks or other raw veggies, atop deviled eggs, or over pasta. You can thin pesto with a little water to more easily dress a salad.

Fava bean pesto may be served at room temperature up to 4 hours after processing, or may be stored about 5 days in the refrigerator.

Fava Beans Pods and Favas in Basket
Fabulous Favas

Pureed Favas and Garlic in Food Processor
Fava Pesto Stays Green, Unlike Basil

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