food Program

Fava and Pecorino Crostini with Mint and Pea Shoots

Originally published on Brooklyn Farmhouse and included in Megan's fava bean post on Ecocentric Blog.

This is the recipe that I make every year when I first see favas at the market. (That is, it’s my one and only fava dish of the year – though this year I’m inspired to roast some!) Fava beans, Pecorino-Romano cheese, and mint – a classic combination that’s just sooo delicious on toasty, garlicy bread. Top it with a handful of pea shoots, and you’ve just produced a crostini that screams “Spring.” Even the color is Spring-y – the fava beans and Pecorino become a beautiful spring green in the food processor.


For the fava bean puree:
1 pound fava beans in their pods
4 ounces Pecorino-Romano cheese, coarsely grated
5-6 large mint leaves, torn
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the toast:
6 slices artisanal bread (I used multigrain, but ciabatta would be nice), sliced on the bias
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, cut in half

To assemble:
1/4 cup pea shoots
10-15 small mint leaves

Special Equipment:
Food processor


For the fava bean puree:
Remove the fava beans from their pods. Have a small bowl of ice water at hand.

Bring a small pot of lightly salted water to a rolling boil. Add the fava beans and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the favas are tender (you’ll have to slip them out of their outer skins to test for doneness).

Remove the favas and plunge into your waiting bowl of ice water. Let cool for a few minutes, then remove the favas to drain.

Slip the inner, bright green favas out of their outer, white-ish skins. This is a bit of a pain, but I promise that you won’t regret it.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the fava beans that have now been freed of their jackets, the Pecorino, the torn mint leaves, the olive oil, a tiny pinch of salt (Pecorino is salty) and a grinding of black pepper.

Process in the food processor until you get a smooth puree. You can add a bit more olive oil or even a touch of water if the mixture is too thick for your taste. Remove from the food processor and set aside.

For the toast:
Preheat oven to 400ºF (or use your broiler).

Spread the bread slices out on a small baking sheet. Rub each slice with a bit of the olive oil, and sprinkle lightly with salt. Toast in the oven until crispy.

While still hot, rub each slice with the cut side of the garlic clove. You’ll probably only need to use 1/2 of the clove, unless you like it really garlicky (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

Set aside to cool slightly.

To assemble:
Top each slice of toast with a generous smear of fava puree. Top with a mixture of pea shoots and fresh mint leaves.

Learn more about fava beans in Megan's full post on Ecocentric Blog.