Fava and Avocado Crostini

Preparation info

  • Makes about 1½ cups spread for about 2 dozen crostini; serves

    5 to 6

    as an hors d’oeuvre

    Appears in

    Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini

    By Elizabeth Schneider

    Published 2001

    • About

    For this dish, the unpeeled beans are braised, then pureed for a chunky, chewy toast topping. Avocado replaces the customary olive oil, offering color, creaminess, and sweetness. The effect is more complex than you might expect—as if herbs and cheese had been added. For variation, add a modicum of slivered mint or basil leaves or both.


    • 3 pounds fava beans
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
    • About 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 small, very rich avocado, such as Hass or Fuerte
    • About tablespoons lemon juice
    • Hot pepper sauce
    • About 2 dozen slices cut from a baguette or narrow ciabatta
    • Optional: olive oil to brush on crostini


      1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Shell favas. Drop into boiling water, return to a boil and cook 30 seconds. Drain, drop into cold water, and drain again. Set aside about one-quarter of the beans.
      2. Combine remaining favas in heavy saucepan with olive oil, garlic, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and simmer gently until garlic is soft and fava skin fairly tender, about 10 minutes, crushing and stirring so flavors penetrate.
      3. Meanwhile, with fingernails, break skin of each reserved fava, then press to pop out bean, working carefully to avoid breakage. Slide apart the two seed halves. Reserve.
      4. Transfer fava-garlic mixture to food processor. Chop fine, scraping sides often. Scoop into mixing bowl. Halve, seed, peel, and dice avocado. Add to bowl with 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Crush to coarse texture. Fold in peeled favas, hot pepper sauce, and lemon juice and salt to taste.
      5. Toast bread on baking sheet in 400°F oven until crunchy on the outside but still slightly chewy within. (For richer crostini, brush top side lightly with olive oil before toasting.)
      6. Spread fava mixture on warm crostini. Serve at once.

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