I recently moved to a new house and, glory of all glories, there is a weekend farmers market about half a mile away. My haul this first weekend was relatively small, I mostly went to scope out the lay of the land and get a feel for the market, I couldn’t be more pleased with my new surroundings. I went with one of my roommates who, later in the day, proclaimed the tomato he had bought to be the best he’d ever tasted, so I look forward to many delicious fruits an veggies to come.
I’d never worked with fava beans before this dish, so I wanted something simple that would showcase their flavor but also refined enough to make the double shelling process worth it. I’d also never worked with garlic scapes before (and I’m not sure if what I bought were garlic scapes) and I’d always seen recipes for garlic scape pesto and I thought fava beans and garlic scapes would pair beautifully in a crostini.
Toasted baguette, slathered with two beautiful green spreads and topped with a shave of cheese. A simple dish perfect for having people over on a hot summer night or wowing your roommates and inaugurating a new kitchen.
2 1/2 pounds fava beans in pods
1/4 cup olive oil
4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons thinly sliced fresh mint leaves
1 (2- to 3-ounce) piece Pecorino Romano cheese
10 garlic scapes, finely chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup slivered almonds
~1/2 cup olive oil
1) Remove outer shells from the fava beans. Bring very salty water to a boil and blanch for two minutes. Drain into a colander, rinse with cold water, and remove secondary shells.
2) Add olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to a medium sized mixing bowl. Add shelled favas and mash with a fork, potato masher, or pastry blender until desired texture has been achieved. Add the chiffonade of mint, incorporate, and set aside.
3) Finely dice the stems of the garlic scapes. You may not be able to use the whole stem because of how fibrous they may be towards the bottom. Add the chopped scapes, parmesan, any small amount of chopped mint you may have left over, and slivered almonds to the bowl of a food processor. Turn food processor on and gently stream olive oil in until desired consistency has been reached.
4) Slice baguette on the diagonal, as many slices as you want/need. Brush both sides with olive oil and place on a baking sheet in a 400° F oven for 5-7 minutes or until crispy and golden brown.
5) Take a piece of the toasted baguette, spread first with the garlic scape pesto and then with the fava bean mixture. Top with a shave of pecorino-romano cheese, which you can make using a vegetable peeler or a mandolin slicer.