Monday, June 16, 2014

Fava Bean Spread with Dill Pesto

Ingredients (Fava Bean Spread):
1 cup dry shelled fava beans soaked overnight or for at least 4 hours and thoroughly drained
1 medium onion (about 110 g)
1 medium potato (about 90 g)
1 medium carrot (about 50 g)
2.5 cups water
3/4 tsp fine sea salt
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and more for greasing the serving dish
Cook fava beans and vegetables: Peel and cut the onion and potato into 1.5 cm / 0.6 inch dices. Chop the carrots into 1 cm / 0.4 inch dices. Combine the vegetables and pre-soaked and drained fava beans in a medium pot. Pour the water over; the specified amount will be enough to barely cover the vegetables and beans. Cover the pot with a lid leaving a small gap and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to the medium-low and gently simmer. Remove the white foam as it is forms on top. Now and then check whether there is enough water at the bottom: with a fork gently push the beans and vegetables away from the side of the pan, but don’t stir! Add little water if needed to prevent the scorching of the pot. Cook until the vegetables are fork-tender, the beans mash easily and the water completely evaporates (about 1 hour).
Make fava bean spread: Remove the pot from the heat and immediately puree with an immersion blender until the fava bean spread reaches a smooth silky consistency, not unlike creme patisserie. Inspect for any random chunks of carrots or potato and puree until they disappear. Add sea salt and extra virgin olive oil and run the blender again to combine. Grease individual cups or a large serving dish with more olive oil and transfer the fava bean spread. Smooth the surface with a spatula and add a bit olive oil to prevent large cracks as the spread settles (which it does in minutes). For the best result, refrigerate the spread overnight: next day you will be able to release the puree from the dish easily, cut into pieces and serve with the dill pesto. 
Ingredients (Dill Pesto):
1/2 cup finely chopped dill
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp finely ground almonds
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse to reach the desired consistency. I pulse for a while as I personally like this pesto smooth and runny so I can pour it over the chunks of fava bean spread. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. 

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