01 June 2018

Seasonal Recipe: Springtime Fava Bean Spread

This spread is perfect on toast, stirred into pasta or rice, or added to warm potatoes. It is especially delicious when prepared and added to the Fava bean and gem lettuce salad with arugula pesto (pictured above), a recipe featured in the Portland Farmers Market Cookbook, for sale at all six Portland Farmers Market locations.


  • 1 pound fava beans, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons finely chopped shallot
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • 1 cup Homemade Ricotta Cheese (recipe in Portland Farmers Market Cookbook or store-bought)
  • 2 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano, Grana Padano, or similar hard grating cheese
  • 1½ teaspoons fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes


  1. Bring a large saucepan of generously salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. While the water  comes to a boil, prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with cold water and several handfuls of ice. When the water is boiling, add the fava beans and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and transfer them immediately
    to the ice bath. When they are cool enough to handle, break open the outer membrane and squeeze the bean out. You should have about 1 cup of shelled beans.
  2. In a small sauté pan over medium-low heat, warm the oil. Add the shallot and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the shallot is soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside to cool.
  3. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the fava beans, cooled shallot and garlic, ricotta and Pecorino cheeses, salt, pepper, and pepper flakes. Puree until smooth, scraping down the side of the bowl as needed; the texture should resemble that of tapenade. Taste for additional seasoning, then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. This puree tastes best the day it is made.

Makes approximately 1 1/3 cups