“Guacamole” from the garden

It is springtime here in Northern California, and that means fava beans showing up at the farmers’ market … and growing in my garden. I planted about 70 fava bean seeds at the end of last October. They all germinated, and now some of the pods are ready for picking.

A friend told me that he mashes his homegrown favas into a bright green purée (thanks, Kimo), which made me think of avocados and, of course, guacamole, one of my favorite foods. I vary what I blend with the fava beans depending on my mood—sometimes garlic, salt, pepper, and fresh herbs or maybe only my favorite hot sauce or salsa. I’d love to hear what you dream up.

Lots of ways to serve the purée—as a dip with chips, rolled in warmed tortillas, spread on rice cakes, as a topping for beans or rice, or in a sandwich with lettuce, tomato, and hot sauce.

Fresh fava bean “guacamole”

  • fresh fava beans
  • salt
  • pepper
  • green garlic or garlic cloves (optional)
  • fresh or dried herbs, such as oregano, thyme, rosemary, or basil (optional)
  • hot sauce or salsa (optional)
  1. Remove fava beans from their outer pods. Cover beans with water and microwave, covered, until the beans are just soft and the inner shells begin to wrinkle, about 3 minutes, or blanch in boiling water, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain.
  2. (Optional) Remove each inner shell by making a small tear in it and squeezing out the inner bright green bean. [I don’t do this step.]
  3. Whirl beans in a blender or in a deep bowl with an immersion blender. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. If using green garlic, cut off root end, remove outer layer, and mince white and light green parts only. If using garlic cloves, crush, peel, and mince. Whirl garlic with beans. Add remaining ingredients of your choice and blend.
  5. Serve room temperature or chilled.
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