These vegan crostini are a little taste of Spring!
Prep Time: 40minutes
Cook Time: 40minutes
For the fava bean purée (adapted from Chez Panisse Vegetables - makes about 3 cups):
3poundsfava beans in their pods, shucked (3 cups of beans)
6tablespoonsextra-virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing the purée.
2clovesfresh garlic, peeled and finely chopped
a few splashes of water
For the crostini:
1fresh baguette, preferably sour, sliced diagonally 1/4 inch thick
olive oil for brushing the baguette slices
8medium radishes, slivered
a handful of italian parsley leaves, slivered
flaky salt and fresh pepper, for finishing
Make the purée:
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, and dump in the shucked fava beans. Prepare an ice water bath. Let the water return to a boil, then boil the beans for a minute or so, until a bean will slip easily from its skin. Drain the beans and stick them in the water bath to cool. Drain the beans again, and slip the beans from their skins by piercing the tip with your thumbnail, then squeezing the bean out.
When all the beans are peeled, warm 6 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the peeled beans, salt, garlic, herbs and a splash of water. Stew the beans at a slow simmer for about half an hour, stirring often, until they are very soft and beginning to break down, adding more splashes of water to keep the pan moistened and prevent the beans from sticking.
Pull out the bay and thyme, and mash the beans into a paste (you can do this by hand with a wooden spoon, in a small food processor, or in a food mill). Add more olive oil and/or a splash of water to moisten the purée if it seems dry. Add a few drops of lemon juice to brighten the flavor, and a grind of pepper.
The purée is best served immediately, but will keep in the fridge for up to a week. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Assemble the crostini:
Preheat the oven to 350º. Spread the baguette slices on a baking sheet and brush lightly with olive oil. Toast in the oven until golden, 5-10 minutes.
Spread each baguette slice with a smear of fava purée, and top with some radish slivers and then a few strands of the parsley. Finish with a pinch of flaky salt and a dusting of pepper. Serve immediately.
Though fava beans take a bit of prep - they must first be shucked from their pods, then the beans blanched and slipped, one by one, from their outer skin - a little of this purée goes a long way. I'd imagine any soft herb would work in place of the parsley, such as basil, chives, tarragon or chervil.Nutritional values are based on one of thirty six crostini.