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Fava + Dill Dip

Fava beans are here! They are some of spring’s first arrivals, along with asparagus and fiddleheads, and are well worth seeking out in their fresh state while you can find them. If you’re not familiar with the fava (or faba, or broad) bean, they’re the big, spongy, cartoon-like beans you see in farmers’ markets in the late spring, and they require a little more effort to access their buttery goodness, but are well worth the effort. I kind of like food you have to work at, or can sit around outside and peel + eat.

Favas are carried comfortably in pods that when opened, look as if they’re lined with soft styrofoam. The beans themselves are further protected by little leathery jackets that get tougher with age – some people eat them without peeling, but once they get larger, their skins get even rubberier, even with a lot of boiling. I like to pop the jacketed beans into a pot of salted water and cook them for 3-5 minutes, until they soften and lose some of their colour, and then scoop them out into an ice bath to stop them from cooking. You can then squeeze them out of their skins into a bowl, or into a pan with butter and garlic, or directly into pasta, salads and such. Some people toss whole pods on the grill – you can toss them with oil and salt first – to char on the outside and steam on the inside, then serve in a big bowl for everyone to peel and eat at the table. In southern Italy, it’s customary to serve raw favas in the spring, setting big bowls of them on the table for people to peel and eat with pecorino, perhaps some salami, and buttered baguettes and wine. SIGH. We can do that here too, though, and dream about trips to Italy. (Though you can eat them raw, I prefer to serve boiled favas this way – which I think taste better, and are easier to slip out of their skins. Just cook them in salted water and keep them in the fridge until you’re ready for them – a perfect snack for a hot day.)

Fava beans also make a tasty addition to hummus, and are often mashed with garlic, oil, lemon and herbs to spread on crostini. Since favas have been a staple in the Middle East since about 6000 BC, I looked to one of my favourite cookbooks, Zaitoun: Recipes and Stories from the Palestinian Kitchen, by Yasmin Khan, for direction, and made a wonderful dip that you can keep in the fridge and nibble from all week, or pack to bring along on a picnic.

Fava + Dill Dip

AuthorJulie

Yields4 Servings

1/2 lb fresh or frozen fava beans (out of their pods)
1/2-1 cup green peas
juice of 1 lemon, or to taste
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 cup thick plain yogurt (or to taste)
2 Tbsp tahini (optional)
a small handful of mint leaves (plus extra for garnish)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
1/2 tsp sumac, plus extra to serve
salt and pepper, to taste
extra-virgin olive oil

1

Bring a saucepan of water to a boil and cook the fava beans for 3-5 minutes, then scoop out with a slotted spoon into a bowl of cold water to stop them from cooking. Put the peas into the water on the stovetop to cook for a few minutes while you squeeze the favas out of their skins into the bowl of a food processor.

2

Drain the peas, rinsing them under cool water too, and add them to the food processor with the lemon juice, garlic, yogurt, tahini, mint, dill, sumac and a big pinch of salt and good grind of black pepper. Add about 2 Tbsp of olive oil and blitz until relatively smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more lemon if you like, or more olive oil to loosen it up. Serve drizzled with extra olive oil and a few mint leaves. Serves about 4.

Ingredients

 1/2 lb fresh or frozen fava beans (out of their pods)
 1/2-1 cup green peas
 juice of 1 lemon, or to taste
 1 garlic clove, crushed
 1/4 cup thick plain yogurt (or to taste)
 2 Tbsp tahini (optional)
 a small handful of mint leaves (plus extra for garnish)
 2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
 1/2 tsp sumac, plus extra to serve
 salt and pepper, to taste
 extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

1

Bring a saucepan of water to a boil and cook the fava beans for 3-5 minutes, then scoop out with a slotted spoon into a bowl of cold water to stop them from cooking. Put the peas into the water on the stovetop to cook for a few minutes while you squeeze the favas out of their skins into the bowl of a food processor.

2

Drain the peas, rinsing them under cool water too, and add them to the food processor with the lemon juice, garlic, yogurt, tahini, mint, dill, sumac and a big pinch of salt and good grind of black pepper. Add about 2 Tbsp of olive oil and blitz until relatively smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more lemon if you like, or more olive oil to loosen it up. Serve drizzled with extra olive oil and a few mint leaves. Serves about 4.

Fava + Dill Dip
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About Julie

3 comments on “Fava + Dill Dip

  1. Carol S-B
    May 18, 2021 at 10:56 am

    When the kids were little, we had access to a huge farm garden: and planted whatever we liked in it.
    In the fall, the broad beans would be ready, so fresh and lovely, around the same time as the last of the garden peas.
    5- year- old called them “Party Peas”. And with your writeup, I think they really are!

    • Julie
      May 28, 2021 at 2:33 pm

      I love it!! I’m going to start calling them party peas!

  2. ANGELICA
    May 20, 2021 at 4:57 am

    I have never tried this one. Thanks for the recipe. ^_^ I can’t wait to try and make one for my family. ^_^

    —-
    Angelica Aredidon
    Media & Advertising Administrator
    PhamilyPC.tk

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