Fava Bean, Burrata, and Mint Crostini

Fava Bean, Burrata, and Mint Crostini is a fresh and creamy fava bean puree served on toasted bread with Burrata cheese.  It’s the perfect spring appetizer!

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fava bean collage1

Welcome to the first post of my new series here at FTM — Farmer’s Market Friday — where each Friday I will feature seasonal produce, with a recipe that showcases the produce of the week.  If you follow along here at all, you know I’m a self-professed produce nerd, and my idea of a good time is ooh-ing and ahh-ing over fruits and veggies at my local farmer’s market every Thursday evening, as well as every supermarket produce department.  Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?  I know there are more people out there like me. 😉

I chose fava beans for the first week because for me, I never knew what to do with them, and I’d heard they were a lot of work.  They’ve quickly become one of my favorite things, and I intend to buy them on every trip to my farmer’s market until they’re gone, because they’re season is pretty short.  Fava beans are gigantic, but once they’re shelled, you’re not left with a whole lot.  I shelled the first batch myself the first week, then when I went back last week, the farm stand had shelled them and placed the beans in bags in 1 lb. quantities.  I loved that, as I got exactly 1 lb. with no extra work, which is worth its weight in gold as far as I’m concerned.

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The beans are quite large, and there’s an outer skin surrounding each one.  While some people leave them on, they can be rather unappealing once they’re cooked as they wrinkle up.  I parboiled mine for 2 minutes and removed the skin.  It comes off easily, but it’s definitely extra work removing it from each bean. It’s a labor of love. 🙂

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When the skin is removed, you’ve got yourself some gorgeous neon green beans worthy of any spring or summer dishes.  Once the skin is removed, you can boil or steam them until tender, then you can puree them like I did here with lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and fresh mint, or add them whole to risotto, pasta, grains, and salads.

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The first time I’d ever experienced fava beans was at cooking school, and I was in love at first bite.  My instructor said any time she sees them on the menu at  a restaurant, she orders them, because she knows the work that’s involved.  I remembered that when I visited a restaurant recently, and saw a fava bean crostini with burrata on the menu.  We ordered it and loved it, and I knew I had to replicate that at home.  🙂

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Burrata is such a trendy cheese right now, and it’s on the menu at just about every restaurant we go to.  It’s like fresh mozzarella, but it’s even better.  Basically, Burrata is made from scraps of mozzarella, and it’s got a soft, rich center with a fresh milky quality that oozes out when the cheese is cut.  It’s unbelievable!  It adds a richness to the fresh puree.  Normally I love to drizzle balsamic glaze over everything (who doesn’t?), but I restrained myself  because I wanted the fresh, clean flavors to shine.  I’m not normally into fresh mint, but it’s SO delicious here!  The mint flavor is very subdued, and just freshens things up nicely.

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Now this puree can almost be called hummus, because it’s great on crackers, used as a dip for veggies, or you can use it as a spread on sandwiches.  You can add more olive oil if you want silkier texture, but I loved it with a minimal amount.  This was another victory for me, because my kids even liked it.  Even though it was a lot of work, I did share. 🙂  I understand favas come in dried form, which I’ve never seen, but will definitely purchase when I do!  Until then, I will work for these, because they’re completely worth the extra effort.  This puree is like spring in a bowl. 🙂

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Fava Bean, Burrata, and Mint Crostini
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Fava Bean, Burrata, and Mint Crostini is fresh fava beans cooked and pureed with lemon, olive oil and fresh mint. Serve it on toasted baguette with Burrata cheese for a perfectly fresh appetizer for spring and summer.
Serves: Varies
Ingredients
For the puree:
  • 1 lb. fava beans, unshelled
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh mint, plus more for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Toasted baguette slices*
  • Burrata cheese, sliced
Instructions
Prepare the puree:
  1. Fill a small saucepan with water and bring to a boil over high heat, and fill a medium bowl with ice water. Add the fava beans to the boiling water and cook about 3-4 minutes, depending on the size of the beans. Drain the beans, and pour into the ice water to stop the cooking process. Gently squeeze the beans out of the outer skin.
  2. Place the beans in the bowl of a food processor and puree until smooth. Add the lemon juice, mint, salt and pepper. With the processor on low, add the oil through the chute and process until combined. Taste and correct the seasoning.
Assemble the crostini:
  1. Place about a tablespoon of the crostini on each slice of bread. Top with a small slice of Burrata, a bit more puree, and freshly chopped mint. Serve and enjoy!
Notes
Prep time above does not include shelling the fava beans as I purchased mine pre-shelled at the farmers market. Add another 5-10 minutes prep time if you buy them shelled.

*For the toasted baguette slices, simply cut the baguette on the bias, brush lightly with olive oil, and place under the broiler for about 1 minute or until golden brown and crispy.

If you prefer a silkier texture, simply add more olive oil.

Fava bean puree is also delicious as a spread, or a dip for crackers or veggies.

Recipe by Flavor the Moments.