Unshelling and eating fava beans from my grandmother’s garden is probably one of the earliest memories from my childhood I have. I remember her giving us a big bowl of freshly cooked fava beans and us shucking them from the skin and popping them into our mouths. What a fun, healthy snack! Like a lot of other beans and legumes, fava beans have a very high content of what nutritionists call “perfect protein”. They are rich in fibers, mineral salts, vitamins (A,B,C,E,K) and are loaded with amino acids. Since young fava beans are more sweet and tender, they can be easily eaten raw, with the outer skin.
Today I saw fresh fava beans on the market and all the memories came back. I had to have them! I took a huge bag of those big, green pods and ran home to prepare them as fast as possible. The ones I found were a little bit older, so I decided to cook and peel them before eating. While I was snacking on them, I thought, those sun dried tomatoes in olive oil, vinegar, garlic and spices that I had in my fridge would match perfectly with this flavor. I mixed it up with a few other ingredients and decided to make bruschetta. And, to be completely honest with you, that was one of the best decisions I made in a while 😉 Sooo good!
FAVA BEANS AND SUNDRIED TOMATOES BRUSCHETTA
(for about 10-15 bruschettas)
1 kg fresh, unshelled fava beans
6 marinated sun dried tomatoes, sliced
4 slices marinated grilled aubergine, cubed – optional
3 tomatoes (choose your favorite), cubed
2-3 marinated garlic cloves, chopped
handful fresh basil leafs
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp marinate from the tomatoes
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper, salt
your favorite bread for bruschetta
Start with shelling the beans. To do that, bend the tip of the pod and pull down the seam to “unzip” the entire pod and reveal the beans inside. Discard the outer pod and put the shelled beans aside. From 1 kg of unshelled fava you should get about 2 cups of shelled beans. When all of them are ready, drop them in boiling, salted water for about 6-10 minutes (depending on the size). If you have young fava beans you don’t need to cook them long. They are sweet, delicious and the most nutritious when raw so you just need to soften them up a bit. Remove from the boiling water and place into an ice bath. When cold, peel off the beans’ outer covering and place the peeled beans in a bowl.
Add the rest of the ingredients and season with salt and black pepper. Mix gently, cover with plastic foil and transfer to the fridge for the flavors to get through. Meanwhile slice and put your bread on the grill to heat up a bit. When ready, spread the fava-tomatoes mixture on the bread and serve ready bruschetta immediately. Enjoy! 🙂