Bruschetta (to the English-speaking world) is toasted bread with a topping, and a splash of olive oil. Toast is taken seriously in Italy, and the result is a healthy but super-quick lunch.
This version is a little unusual with Fava beans (also called “poor man’s meat” because they’re so full of protein, and is one of the few foods that freezes well while retaining flavour and nutrients). When eaten green, Fave are sweet and the embodiment of all things spring.
Ingredients for 2 people
- 600 gr frozen Fava beans
- 5 tbs Tomotoes crushed (from a can is fine, as long as there are no strange “E” preservatives in the ingredient list)
- Pinch of dried mint
- 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 4 slices of fresh bread
Bring a pan of well-salted water to boil, and add the frozen beans. Boil for roughly 10 minutes. Meanwhile prepare a large bowl with cold water. Use a fork to check that the beans are tender, drain the hot water, and plunge the cooked fava beans into the cold water. Using your fingers, gentle pop the soft inner green bean from its rubbery shell. Discard the shells. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan on medium heat, add 5 tablespoons of crushed tomatoes with salt and pepper to taste. Stir and allow to thicken slightly. Add the shelled fava beans and pinch of mint, and simmer for 3 minutes before removing from the heat. Toast your slices of bread, and while the bread is toasting, use a fork to mash the fava beans.
Serve the toasted bread with the fava beans spooned generously on top, with a dash of olive oil to finish it off. Yum.