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Summer Crostini Two Ways

Summer Crostini Two Ways

Author Tembi Locke is making a delicious crostini with fava beans and sun dried tomatoes.
Ingredients for Pureed Fava Beans with Crostini
  • 2 pounds of fresh fava beans, still in the pod 21/4 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 small white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 baguette or loaf of artisanal bread
  • 1 clove garlic to rub on the bread
  • Thinly sliced pecorino cheese for garnish (optional)
Ingredients for Sun Dried Tomatoes and Almond Tapenade with Crostini
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 20 pitted oil-cured olives
  • 10 to 15 sun dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

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.

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