Fava Hummus (adapted from Sam Mogannam's Eat Good Food)

 (The word "hummus" means "chickpeas" in arabic. But I like the way it sounds, even if the translation is a little silly: fava chickpea). No matter what you call it, this spread is delicious with anything that pairs well with traditional chickpea hummus.

1/3 cup plus 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
1 cup chopped green garlic
3/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 cup shelled fava beans, english peas or a mix (if they are fresh, blanche as instructed above in the shelling directions - give peas 1 minute) If frozen, no need to blanche them.
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano (or other dry, salty, sheep’s milk cheese)
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
6 large mint leaves, coarsely chopped

Heat 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, add the onion and a pinch of salt. Cook until the onions are soft but not browned. Add the green garlic and thyme and cook until they are wilted, then remove from heat and set aside.

The favas and peas will need to be cooked a tiny bit, unless they have been frozen. Either follow my shelling instructions above, or drop them, after shelling, into boiling water for a minute or two.

After the beans or peas have cooled, put them into the bowl of a food processor. Add the onion mixture, cheese, lemon juice, mint and 1/4 teaspoon salt and pulse briefly to combine. Then pour in the remaining 1/3 cup olive oil and pulse again. If it isn’t creamy enough for you, add more olive oil. Taste and add more salt or lemon juice.

Serve with lots of little toasts and veggies for dipping, and a big hunk of a good soft cheese. This makes an excellent spring birthday party spread and the cheese will satisfy any people like my son, who refuse to eat green food.

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