Food & Entertaining

No-Fail Appetizer Idea: Fava Bean Spread with Roasted Garlic Ricotta

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It’s so easy eating green! This Fava Bean Spread is the kind of dish that may replace guacamole as your go-to party dip. We love its citrusy underpinnings—lemon juice, strips of rind, and grated zest—as well as its hint of mint. Chef Yotam Ottolenghi suggests that you serve it with toasted sourdough crisps. Your guests thank you in advance.

Read on for Ottolenghi's mouthwatering recipe for Fava Bean Spread with Roasted Garlic Ricotta, adapted with permission from his new book Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking From London's Ottolenghi ($21; amazon.com).

Fava Bean Spread with Roasted Garlic Ricotta

Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:
1 head garlic (10 cloves), cloves separated, skin on
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup ricotta
3 tbsp sour cream
2 lemons, rind shaved in long strips from one, 2 tsp. finely grated zest from the other
1 1/3 lb. fava beans
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup mint leaves, chopped, plus 1 tbsp. shredded mint leaves to garnish
Salt and black pepper

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
2. Mix the garlic cloves with 1 tsp of the olive oil, place on a baking sheet, and cook for 15 minutes, until soft. Remove from the oven and when cool enough to handle, squash the garlic out of its skin using the back of a fork. Discard the skins, place the flesh in a small bowl, and add the ricotta, sour cream, 1/4 tsp salt, and some black pepper. Use a whisk to mix everything together well and set aside.
3. Place the remaining olive oil in a small saucepan with the shaved lemon rind. Place over medium heat, bring to a gentle simmer, then remove from the heat to cool and infuse.
4. Bring a large pan of water to a boil. Add the fava beans, blanch for 1 minute, drain, and then remove them from their skins. Crush the beans with a fork, add all but 1 tbsp of the lemon-infused oil (removing the rind first), the lemon juice, the chopped mint, 1/2 tsp salt, and some black pepper and mix together.
5. Spread the ricotta mix in a thin layer over the bottom of each serving plate or one larger platter. Spoon the fava bean mixture on top, lightly spreading it out to cover most of the ricotta. Sprinkle the shredded mint and grated lemon zest over the fava mixture and finish with a drizzle of the lemon-infused oil.

PHOTOS: Create a 5-Dish Mezze Menu with Chef Yotam Ottolenghi

 
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