Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fava Bean Bruschetta with Burrata & Prosciutto

The fava bean is the star here, highlighted with the bright flavours of fresh mint, tart lemon and tangy pecorino cheese with crispy prosciutto and creamy burrata 
slathered on grilled slices of sourdough bread, rounding out the cast. Be sure to buy fresh favas in the pod rather than the pre-shelled frozen variety, and surrender to peaceful and pleasurable pastime of shucking. It's more time consuming, but the fava's fresh nutty flavour is well worth it. Simple and delicious, this fresh and creamy Fava Bruschetta with Burrata & Prosciutto is a feast for the eyes as well as the palate.

Fresh fava beans out of the pod

Fava Bean, Burrata & Prosciutto Bruschetta
Makes 8 appetizer crostini

1 1/2 lb fresh, unshelled fava beans
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Maldon salt and fresh cracked black pepper
1/2 baguette, sliced 1-inch thick on a diagonal
1 garlic clove, peeled and halved
1/2 lb burrata or buffalo mozarella, cut into 8 slices
4 thin slices of prosciutto
pinch of red pepper flakes

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and salt it generously. Remove the fava beans from the pods. Briefly blanch the beans until tender, about 3-5 minutes, then using a slotted spoon, drain and transfer the beans to a bowl of ice water to cool. Once cool, pop the beans out of the waxy casing by pinching one end of the bean and popping the bean out of the skin. The two halves of the bean will separate. Discard the skins. Rinse them in cool water and dry on paper towels.

In a food processor, combine the fava beans with the mint leaves, lemon juice, pecorino, and salt and pepper to taste. Purée until combined, then slowly add the olive oil until the mixture is smooth and creamy but still quite thick. The purée can be refrigerated at this stage for up to 2 days.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet and lay the slices of prosciutto in one layer. Bake until crisp, about 10 minutes. Crack into small pieces and set aside. Place the slices of bread on the baking sheet or outdoor grill, and toast until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Remove them from the oven and then lightly rub with the cut clove of garlic.

To assemble the bruschetta, spread a heaping tablespoon of the purée over each slice of bread. Top with a slice of burrata, or buffalo mozzarella, and a few slivers of crispy prosciutto. Sprinkle some hot red pepper flakes and sea salt overtop, and finish with a drizzle of olive oil.