As always I rushed to my Organic Store last friday as soon as the vegetables arrived. I really like being one of the first few people to look through the fresh produce and pick the best. Most days vegetables and fruits come in very small qualities unlike super markets. There will be 10 cauliflowers or 15 pomegranates which disappear within minutes.
This time there was a small box full some very unique looking beans which didn’t look like anything I usually see there. I asked the store guy what they were and he said it’s some exotic vegetable that they got from Ooty and wasn’t sure what it was. That got me totally excited. One close look and I realized that it was Fava Beans or Broad beans. I had never seen fava beans anywhere in Bangalore before so I was thrilled to find them at my Organic store. Once again, this store never fails to amaze me.
After a brief research on the internet I found out how to prep and eat Fava beans. I only got a small bunch of them as they weren’t the most tender beans. I would have loved to eat them simply stir-fried but since I had so little I thought i’ll make a spread which can at least be served to 3-4 people.
We had a lot of fun while shelling and pealing fresh fava beans. Alaru loves helping me around with things like this. She enjoyed getting her hands wet and splashing around water a little while trying to peel the slippery beans individually. It takes a little bit of time but definitely worth the effort.
I kept the recipe simple and easy. I wanted the flavor of the fava beans to come across well in the spread. Broad beans have a very unique favor with a very mild bitterness to it. It’s creamy and after the skin is removed it’s so buttery.
To add a bit of body and some crunch I added roasted almonds to the spread. Other than that I kept it very minimal with basic herbs and garlic. Resulting spread is perfect to serve as a dip or use in sandwiches, on bread, in rolls and wraps etc. I served it on freshly baked white bread with extra drizzle of olive oil.
This ‘Fresh Fava Bean & Almond Spread’ is a great alternative to your regular overly processed bottled spreads and sauces from as it’s packed with nutrition from the fresh fava beans and almonds. It happens to be vegan too!
I think you can make the same spread with many other fresh beans or even peas.
You can replace the fresh fava beans with frozen.
Increase the amount of olive oil for a silkier spread.
Use fresh basil if you have on hand. It’ll make the spread look a greener.
You can use cashew nuts instead of almonds
This spread stays well for unto a week in a airtight container.
- 1 cup shelled and skinned fresh fava beans
- a handful of almonds (roasted and chopped)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp dired basil
- Extra olive oil and almonds for serving.
If you are using fresh fava beans:
First shell the beans. Bring a bit pot of salted water to boil, drop the cleaned bans into it and let it simmer for a minute. Darin the water and immediately put it into a big bowl full of ice cold water to stop it from cooking further. Now peel each one of the beans to reveal the beautiful green inner bean. Discard the outer peel. Now your lava beans are ready to cook.
In a small pan, heat the olive oil Add the garlic and fry for a minute. Now add the almonds, fava beans, herbs and salt. Stir fry for a couple of minutes. Turn off the flame and let it cool.
Blend the bean mixture till creamy or coarsely done adding as much water as needed. I have left mine a little chunky as I liked the idea of biting into small pieces of beans and almonds. You can also blend it till creamy and stir-in small pieces of almonds for crunch. Taste the spree and season it with more salt if needed.
Serve toped with some extra olive oil and almonds.