Fava Bean and Goat Cheese Crostini

I believe that people generally make two associations with fava beans: (1) They are incredibly labor intensive to prepare, and (2) Hannibal Lecter likes to eats them with human livers and a nice Chianti. While unfortunate yet very true, these aren’t exactly the best associations to be made with a dish. Personally, I love fava beans. I jumped up and down in the market yesterday when I discovered that the huge green pods were finally in season - a very brief season at that. I snatched up as many as I could and started brainstorming fava bean recipes, vetoing any featuring liver.

I decided to make a crostini mainly because I couldn’t stop thinking about the meals we recently had in Italy. In Rome, we enjoyed our fair share of toasted bread topped with a variety of cheeses, meats, vegetables, and fish. I kept my crostini pretty simple (as it should be) with just a few ingredients. The only difficult part of this recipe is the preparation of the fava beans themselves.

Now, how do you prepare these demanding beans? It is a bit of a process, so enlist the help of some hungry friends (or kids), and be sure to supply them with plenty of wine (or fruit juice). First, peel open the large pods and pop out the individual beans. Either boil or steam the beans for a few minutes, and then peel their waxy skins once they have cooled. That wasn’t so bad, right? My recipe for fava bean and goat cheese crostini is below. Enjoy this dish with a crisp glass of Sauvignon Blanc, or you can go the more Italian or Hannibal Lecter route and sip on some Chianti.


Baguette or ciabatta
Olive oil
Fava beans
Goat cheese
Lemon juice and zest
Chives or basil


Mix room temperature goat cheese with lemon juice, zest, salt, and pepper. Brush baguette slices with olive oil and then toast under the broiler until crisp. Top with goat cheese, shelled fava beans, lemon zest, and chopped chives or basil.

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