Fava Bean Dip

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Ingredients

Bowl of ice water for shelling beans
2 to 3 pounds of fava beans in the pod
1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup water
Salt, pepper to taste
3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 to 2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary
1 to 2 teaspoons lemon juice
cup shaved parmesan cheese
1 baguette toasted French bread, sliced


Directions

Shell beans from their pods and heat a pot of water to boiling. Blanch the beans briefly (for 30 seconds or so) to loosen the skins; drain the water and cool beans in ice water to preserve a beautiful bright green color. Peel the beans using your thumbnail to tear the skin at one end, then squeeze to pop out the bean.

Heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add beans, water, and a generous pinch of salt. Cook the beans gently, stirring occasionally for 10 to 15 minutes over low heat, until beans are soft. Add more water if needed to keep them moist and loose.

Mash the beans to a paste with a wooden spoon or potato masher. Make a well in the center of the pan and pour in another few tablespoons of the olive oil. Add garlic and rosemary to the oil and cook gently; when the garlic starts to sizzle and releases its fragrance, stir the garlic mixture into the beans. Turn off heat. Season with a few grinds of pepper and a small amount of lemon juice to taste.

To serve: place a dollop of fava bean dip onto toasted rounds and add a generous shave of parmesan cheese. Serve immediately! Can be refrigerated and stored for up to one week. Makes about 2 cups. Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer.

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