Directions for Pureed Fava Beans with Crostini
1. Shuck the fava beans (remove the beans from their bulky pods). Fill a large saucepan half full of water and add 2 teaspoons of salt. Bring the water to a boil. Meanwhile, put a few cups of ice in a medium mixing bowl and fill with water.
2. Add the beans to the boiling water and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, no more. Turn off the heat and strain the beans into the ice-water bath. (Be careful to save a bit of the water that the beans were boiled in.) Let the beans sit in the ice bath for 1 to 2 minutes. Drain the ice water from the pan. Remove the outer coating of each bean, pinching the end and slipping the bean out of the skin.
3. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil and add the onion. Cook until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the beans, the saved bean water, and the remaining salt. Stir and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the mint, and add the lemon juice. Put the mixture into a food processor and blend until creamy smooth, streaming in a little more olive oil if necessary to make it creamier. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
4. Slice the bread into 1-inch-thick slices. Grill or broil until lightly golden. Remove,rub with a clove of garlic, and brush with olive oil.Top each piece of bread with a hearty heap of fava bean puree. Garnish with a slice of pecorino, if desired. Top with the remaining mint.
5. Makes a dozen pieces.
Directions for Sun Dried Tomatoes and Almond Tapenade (Makes about 1 1/2 cups)
1. Put the almonds, rosemary, basil, vinegar, sugar, paprika, olives, tomatoes, and garlic into a food processor. Blend, streaming in the olive oil as you go, until finely chopped into a thick paste. Add more olive oil if you want a smoother consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste.