Over the past Memorial weekend, VB and I caught a baseball game in Oakland and stopped by encuentro cafe and wine bar afterwards. The review was mixed on this one: VB loved it and I thought it was too expensive and too much like bird food. But we agreed that their fresh peas and mint bruschetta was delicious. I had some fresh fava beans handy so I thought I'd make something similar at home.
It was my first time working with fava beans. I took some pictures to document the process, but they somehow disappeared when I tried to transfer them to my computer. (Don't you just hate it when that happens?) Anyway, fava beans have to be first shucked and then par boiled. After boiling in water for 2-4 minutes, the waxy skin wrapped around the beans can be peeled off or squeezed off. But the easiest way to get the skin off, for me, was to cut a slit with a sharp paring knife then peel. The resulting beans tasted fresh yet earthy, tender and green like fresh peas but not quite as sweet. I supplemented the fava beans with some thawed petite peas and roughly mushed them with olive oil, grated Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. The result was pretty comparable to what we had at encuentro.
- 1 1/2 cups fresh fava beans
- 1 cup fresh peas or thawed petite peas
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- mint leaves for garnish
- slices of crusty toasted bread