Mashed Favas

MAKES: 4 servings

TIME: About 1 hour

A true Mediterranean classic, a perfect use for favas, and a great mashed potato substitute, with lots of possibilities; see the list at right.

Other beans you can use: limas, gigantes, or cranberry beans.

8 ounces dried peeled and split fava beans, washed, picked over, and soaked if you like

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil for garnish

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice for garnish

Put the beans in a large pot with water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn the heat down so the beans simmer steadily but not violently; cover loosely. When the beans begin to soften, after about 30 minutes, add the onion, carrot, celery, and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are very soft, about 1 hour; add water if necessary.

When the favas are done, drain them. Mash them with a potato masher or wooden spoon or put them through a ricer or food mill. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then drizzle with the olive oil and lemon juice and serve.

10 Additions to Mashed Favas

Many of these can be used in combination; lemon zest, shallots, and lemon juice, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with parsley, for example, are super.

  1. Chopped fresh herbs, like parsley, basil, cilantro, chives, tarragon, chervil, dill, or mint
  2. Grated lemon zest
  3. Sauted or Roasted Garlic
  4. Chopped fresh tomato
  5. Feta cheese
  6. Roasted or boiled potato
  7. Chopped steamed broccoli
  8. Chopped steamed or roasted cauliflower
  9. Cooked and chopped greens, like dandelion, esca-role, collards, kale, spinach, mustard, or broccoli raab
  10. Chopped shallot or mild onion