Califonia Bountiful
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Fava bean puree

Fava bean puree


3 lb. larger, mid-season fava beans
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt, to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 sprig rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 branch thyme
Juice from 1/2 lemon

The vibrant green color and scrumptious flavor of the fava bean is a sure sign spring is here. San Francisco chef Gayle Pirie uses mid-season favas to create this versatile puree.


Shell fava beans and discard pods. Bring a pot of water to boil, add beans and simmer for 1 minute. Drain and cool in ice water. Pierce the outer waxy skin between your thumb and forefinger and remove the outer skin from the bean.

Place peeled and blanched beans, olive oil, salt, garlic, rosemary, bay leaf and thyme in a pan and add just enough water to cover. Simmer over low to medium heat until beans are tender, 15 minutes or longer, depending on the size of the beans. When they are done, place in a food processor and blend until smooth, adding salt to taste. Add lemon juice and finish with a little more olive oil.

The puree can be eaten by itself, as an accompaniment to grilled tuna, added to risotto or pastas or spread on grilled bread.

Makes about 3 cups

See related recipe fava bean ragout.