Thursday, October 6, 2011

Fava Bean Puree, Pat and "The Chew"

No, this isn't hummus. It's what you might call the Italian equivalent though - fava bean puree, made with dried fava beans. I found them in a store in Brooklyn a couple of days ago - more about that later. I'd never have found the store had it not been for Pat, a fellow blogger I've been following for years who writes "Mille Fiori Favoriti" - a wonderful blog primarily about New York City. Pat always informs and entertains her readers, and she never runs out of interesting places to visit and fun things to do. I was lucky enough to be invited on her most recent adventure, as a member of the studio audience on the new TV show on ABC called "The Chew."
I also got to meet Pat's husband Vinny and friend Rosemary (who was taking our picture) and we had a fun time watching the show, with its co-hosts Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Carla Hall, and Daphne Oz.    
Following the show, we ate a delicious meal at the Clinton Street Baking Company and Restaurant, where we had a hard time deciding on which of the tempting offerings to order. Everyone was so busy noshing that no one remembered to take photos until it was too late.
Vinny and Pat were terrific hosts, and wanted to show me a bit of Brooklyn, a borough I've visited half a half dozen times or so. We poked in and out of antique and second hand shops along Atlantic Avenue and ended up at a Middle Eastern food emporium called "Sahadi's." The shelves were brimming with everything from peas to pomegranate syrup. I came home with several items, including these dried fava beans.
They were already peeled, so all I needed to do was soak them overnight before cooking. Here's what they looked like the next morning.
I drained the water, put fresh water in the pot and simmered them for about an hour until they got soft. Don't add any salt until they're cooked, or it will take longer to soften the beans.
Drain the water, then use a potato masher to mash the beans. Season with salt and pepper and pour a warm mixture of olive oil, garlic and chopped parsley on top. 
It makes a great side dish when you want something other than the typical mashed potatoes. The same recipe also tastes wonderful with cannellini beans too.

I want to send a special thank you to Pat and Vinny for inviting me to "The Chew" and for spending the day with me in Brooklyn and also to their friend Rosemary, who was so nice to chat with too. They made me feel so welcome and at ease. You can read more detail about the day at Pat's blog here
Pat and Vinny just celebrated their 37th wedding anniversary yesterday so a special "Congratulations" and "Cent'anni" goes out to them.

Fava Bean Puree

1 pound dried fava beans
salt, pepper to taste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic
a handful of parsley, minced

Soak fava beans overnight in water. Drain the water the following day, then place fresh water in the pot, covering the fava beans by one inch. Cook over heat for about an hour, skimming any "foam" from the surface. Warning, if you're not careful, the foam spills over to your stove and makes a mess. After the beans are soft, drain them and place them back in the pot. Mash with a potato masher. They should not be soupy. If they are too liquidy, turn on the flame and cook for a while until some of the water evaporates.  Season with salt and pepper. In another small saucepan, heat the olive oil, add the garlic, minced and cook for a minute. Then add the parsley, stir for a second or two, and pour over the mashed fava beans. This recipe works equally well with cannellini beans

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  1. Italy, Ireland, US, all together.... I follow Pat and she's great! I'm happy you had a great time!

  2. You get around lady! So nice that you met Pat and her husband, I love her travels and blog.
    Brooklyn is the new Manhattan (or the old one!, even better!). I wish I got there more often. What a fun day.

  3. That is a dish I particularly enjoy! Fava beans are really scrummy and extremely versatile.



  4. So cool that you attended a taping of the show. It's still early and not sure how it will fair but Mario has good cred. Love bean dips, hummus and all those healthy legumes...I'll bring the pita bread.

  5. I don't think I've ever seen a bean dip look so welcoming - just glistening in the the drops of oil. About time you made it to Brooklyn! That day was definitely as they say "a day that is dessert."

  6. I'll try it with cannellini beans since that's what's in my pantry. And I think I may pulse in the food processor for smoothness instead of using the potato masher. In my house something like this is destined to be a late-night-TV dip with crackers.

  7. Clinton Kelly and Mario Batali -- who needs the others? :-)

  8. Ciao, Chow Ciao Linda!! Love that dip! Looks and sounds like a fun day... Thank you

  9. Linda, I'm so glad you and Pat finally met, and what a place to meet! I'm really liking The Chew already, sounds like a wonderful day, I'm extremely jealous!

  10. It was so nice to meet you, Linda, and spend the day together! We will have to do that more often. Thank you for your best wishes on our anniversary!

    I often buy these fava beans, cook them till soft and make them into a puree with a little olive oil. My husband likes the puree served as a sauce over spaghetti. I then add a few shakes of red pepper on top of each serving.

  11. This is such a nice post of both of you meeting.This dish is similar to a hummus type dip that we make- made with cannelini beans,olive oil,garlic,and fresh basil,it is really delicious with a sprinkling of grana padano and placed under a broiler served with bruschetta and roasted peppers and tomatoes.How exciting to see the CHEW live.Thanks for sharing

  12. A great idea for the can of cannellini beans I've had in the cupboard for longer than I'd care to admit!

    Thank you for visiting my blog, and for your lovely comment. I have enjoyed scrolling through your posts - I particularly loved the "Risotto with Perch" and the stunning photos you included. I look forward to seeing what else you have in store!

  13. I tried to watch "The Chew". Cannot do it. It is so painfully forced. I cannot imagine why Mario or Michael would have agreed to it. It makes me cringe.

  14. Molto interessante questa purè di fave Linda !Felice weekend, un abbraccio....

  15. Love fava bean puree! Goes great with sautéed greens, too, the old Puglian way.

  16. Hi Linda, I came from Pat's blog to yours. That must have been a fun and exhausting day! I am not so sure about the show...I have watched it a few times now. We made hummus last I have something a little new and different to try!

  17. Yummy, I almost never eat fava beans and I really wish I did more often! I will have to try this.

  18. I read about your day on Pat's blog and how much fun you had. I've watched several episodes of The Chew and I think its growing on me. Mario is one of my favorite chefs. I bought fresh fava beans at the market and thought they were way too much work to prepare. The dried ones would be much better.