You can buy fava beans in three different forms – fresh in the pods, frozen and canned. I tend to stay away from the former (because shelling the beans is incredibly time consuming) and the later (because canned fava beans don’t taste all that good) and go for the middle selection, the frozen beans. Not only are they way easier than the fresh ones and way tastier than the canned ones (in fact, they taste just about as good as the fresh ones, hardly different at all), but they’re the easiest to find in the store.
That said, sometimes they’re still impossible to find in your grocer’s freezer. In that case, go with frozen lima beans. Trust me, this dip will be just as incredibly delicious with lima beans as it is with fava. No one will ever know the difference ;).
1 # fava beans
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp chopped mint leaves
1 tsp kosher last
1/3 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbl water
Bring a large pot of salted water to a vigorous boil. Add the fava beans, wait for the water to return to a boil, and boil for five minutes. Drain into a colander, then plunge into a large bowl of ice water. Soak the cooked beans in the ice water for about a minute, then drain thoroughly in a colander.
Reserve a small handful of the prettiest fava beans. Add the remaining beans and the rest of the ingredients to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until nearly smooth, but still just a bit chunky. Taste and season if necessary with more salt or pepper.
Transfer the fava bean mixture into a serving bowl and garnish on top with the handful of reserved beans. Serve at room temperature with vegetable crudités and French bread crostini. If you choose to make this ahead of time, it can be kept refrigerated in an air-tight container for up to a day. Remember to bring it to room temp before serving.