Fava Bean Spread with Almonds, Mint, and Lemon

This weekend the Farmer’s Market was brimming with Spring crops.  The fava beans are so fresh and delicious at this time of year.  I have made a fava bean puree in the past and really loved it, but I wanted something different this time around.  Here is a chunky spread, with ingredients reminiscent of pesto.Once you have shelled the beans and blanched them to remove the outer skin, the rest goes quickly.  Simply place the ingredients in a food processor and blitz away.  Toasted Marcona almonds, olive oil, mint, anchovy, garlic, lemon zest and juice all combine to make an assertively flavored, savory spread.  You can have it as smooth or as chunky as you like, but I think a little texture is good.

Serve the spread with toasted baguette, or sturdy chips for dipping.  Add it to a mezze or appetizer tray along with crunchy vegetable garnishes.  It makes a great breakfast, heaped generously on dark, whole grain toast.

Enjoy all the fava beans you can while they are in the prime of the Spring season, they’ll be gone before we know it.

Fava Bean Spread with Almonds, Mint, and Lemon

A delicious fava bean spread, assertively flavored with garlic, mint, lemon and anchovy.  Perfect as an appetizer with baguette or chips.

Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Mediterranean
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 21 minutes
Servings 1 cup
Author Adapted from Saveur Magazine


  • 1 1/2 pounds fava beans, in their pods
  • 2 tablespoons Marcona almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 1 anchovy fillet in oil, rinsed, and coarsely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt, to taste


  1. Remove the fava beans from their pods.  Add the beans to a medium pot of boiling salted water.  Blanch for about a minute, then scoop the beans into a bowl of ice water.  Cool briefly, then slip off the tough outer skins and set the beans aside.

  2. In the bowl of a food processor, fitted with the steel blade, pulse the almonds, anchovy, and garlic until combined.  Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and pulse again.  Add the fava beans and pulse the mixture to a coarse puree.  Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, the Parmesan, mint, lemon zest and lemon juice.  Mix to your desired consistency.  Check the seasoning and add salt to taste and more lemon juice, if you like.  Serve with toasted baguette or chips. 

Recipe Notes

You can find the original recipe here, at Saveur Magazine.



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