A Perfect Spring Lunch: Marinated Fava Beans and Ricotta Toast

Fresh favas are only available from late March to early May, making them the perfect ingredient to star in your spring dishes.

Fava beans are a good source of complex carbohydrates, protein and fibre, all of which help you stay fuller longer. They boast a sweet, nutty flavour and pair well with spring vegetables like asparagus, spring onions and peas, as well as herbs like mint, dill and basil—like in the recipe below.

Marinated Fava Beans and Ricotta Toast

Makes 2 toasts
Prep time: 20 minutes Total time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

For the marinated fava beans:

  • 1 cup fava beans, with their outer shell, fresh or frozen
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp chopped basil
  • ½ shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 small clove of garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper

For the ricotta:

  • ½ cup ricotta
  • ½ tsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 2 slices of sourdough or another crusty bread

Directions

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to boil over high heat and prepare a bowl full of ice water. Once the water has boiled, add the fava beans and cook for one minute. Immediately transfer the fava beans to the ice water bath. Drain and shell the beans, then add to a bowl along with the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, shallot, chopped basil, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and allow to sit for 15 minutes.
  2. To make the whipped ricotta, combine all ingredients in a small blender or food processor and process until smooth. An immersion blender also works well for this, or simply whip together with a whisk or fork.
  3. Toast the bread, spread with the ricotta and divide the marinated beans between each slice. The marinated beans will last up to three days in the refrigerator.

Tip: Marinated fava beans are versatile. Try tossing the mixture into cooked grains or leafy greens for a flavourful salad, spoon on top of hummus, or serve alongside cheeses as part of an appetizer platter.

Next, learn more about the nutritional benefits of fava beans and tips for buying the tastiest ones.

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Originally Published in Best Health Canada