May 23, 2011

Fava Bean Puree Pizza with Green Garlic, Chevre, and an Egg

Fava beans have been making their way into our CSA box lately.  The past few weeks I've noticed an extra bag in the swap box along with the other typical swap items (leafy greens) so have gladly accepted the (obviously) unwanted beans.  Whoever is leaving them behind doesn't really know what they're missing out on.

Granted, fava beans can be a pain.  After you've finished shucking, blanching, and peeling the beans, there's not much left over to brag about.  A busy family on the go may not have the time or gumption to sit down for a good half hour and work through a pile of beans.  I imagine some people might get a little antsy in this situation. 

The fava bean is a cover crop, as far as I can tell, used to help fix nitrogen in the soil in the times between other plantings.  Our friends Megan and Kelly took us to their place of employ, Filoli gardens in Woodside near Palo Alto, where they have a patch of favas growing in a section of the vegetable garden there.  Typically they would just plow everything back into the ground as compost, but we had the chance to take out five or ten pounds of beans a couple weekends ago before that happened.  Which is great, the more the merrier. 

This fava bean abundance has afforded Sarah and I the chance to try out an excellent fava bean puree recipe that Sarah found last year.  We've worked out that the best application for the puree is to either spread it on toast or use it in place of sauce on a pizza  What you see here is the result of our efforts...

Fava Bean Puree Pizza with Green Garlic, Chevre, and a Backyard Egg

Fava Bean Puree
2 Tbs. Olive Oil
1 Tbs. Fresh Rosemary
2 Cloves Garlic, or more, finely diced
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 Cups Fava Beans, shucked, blanched, and peeled
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 Tbs. Olive Oil, for pureeing

Lightly saute the garlic, rosemary, and red pepper flakes in oil for about a minute.  Throw in the shelled beans and saute until heated through.  In a food processor puree the sauteed beans with salt, pepper, and more olive oil to the desired consistency.  The beans can take on a lot of oil at this point, though I usually use water if I need to smooth out the mix after I've added the first bit of olive oil.

For the pizza:

Heat the oven to at least 450F an hour before baking time.  Roll out a single recipe of the pizza dough on a well floured surface and transfer to a peel or pan.  Spread liberally with the fava bean puree, top with finely diced green garlic (shallots would work well here too) and crumbled chevre.  Crack an egg whole over the middle of the pizza and toss it in the oven.  I like to cook my pizzas about 8 minutes in a 450 degree oven with a pizza stone.