Recipe: Fava Bean Spread

Fava beans are great cool season vegetables which are ready to pick about now. These can be hard to find in the market, so they’re a good one to grow yourself. They’re also nitrogen fixing plants which enrich the soil with nitrogen as they grow, but keep in mind that you would need to cut down the stalks after they flower, but before they produce the bean pods to get this benefit. Otherwise the bean pods will just use that nitrogen back up!

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of fava bean pods
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Juice and zest of one small lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Small bunch of mint (optional)

Directions

1. Prepare the fava beans: remove the beans from the pod. Bring a medium sized pot of water to boil. Boil the fava beans for about 1 minute. They should turn an opaque white color. Drain the fava beans, and put them into a bowl filled with ice water. You should then be able to easily take the white skin off the beans and discard it leaving only the bright green inside for the dip.

2. Put the beans, garlic, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper to taste, and mint (if using) into a food processor and blend until there are no large chunks of bean left.

3. While blending, slowly pour the olive oil in to the food processor and continue to process until combined.

4. You can top the dip with smoked paprika (or leave that part out if you're not a fan of smoky flavors) and serve with toasted bread (sourdough is especially nice).

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