This Fava Bean Crostini with Pecorino + Mint is an easy and elegant spring appetizer or snack! Fresh Fava beans are usually only in season for a short time during late spring, and they can be a bit fussy to work with, but the labor of love is absolutely worth it. Creamy, lemony fava bean puree tops crispy toasted bread and finished with sharp, salty Pecorino cheese, and fresh mint. It's simple, seasonal and soo delicious.
Fava beans come into season around May and last until the end of June - at least here in New Jersey, anyway. I love them for their uniquely fresh and creamy flavor, but it's a relationship that's tough to sustain. Not only because their season is fleeting, but because they're so dang difficult to deal with.
And by difficult, I mean time consuming. Favas must first be shucked out of their shells, then blanched, then each individual bean must be peeled. Why am I giving you a recipe for them, then? Because they're awesome, and they're unlike any other bean I've tried. While I do find them to be ridiculously fussy, I can't help but have a soft spot for fava beans. I go through the labor of preparing them at least once every spring, and I do it with a glass of wine, some good tunes and a smile. They're certainly not for the everyday dinner, and definitely not for feeding a crowd, but they're perfect for a rainy day when you can sit at the table and zone out while you meticulously peel each and every one. It's super zen.
The payoff is totally worth it. They're so fresh tasting, so green; so creamy and luscious on the tongue. When you mash them up with lemon juice and olive oil, it makes a spread that gives hummus a run for it's money. Slather it on a piece of toast with some shaved pecorino Romano and fresh mint, and you're in for a real treat. A well deserved one, at that.
One Year Ago: Linguini Carbonara with PeasPrint