As happy as I am to crank out impressive, dinner-party dishes, I’m just as content sitting on the porch drinking rosé and noshing on simple appetizers that come together in minutes. My latest creation is a spring crostini topped with fresh fava beans, aged Parmesan cheese, and fresh mint from the garden. Drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil from Sicily before serving
1 baguette or country bread, such as ciabatta bread, sliced
1 large garlic clove, cut in half
2 tablespoons of roasted hazelnut (almonds work as well)
1 cup shelled fresh fava beans (about 1 pound in pods)
1/4 cup of aged parmesan cheese, shaved
About 10 fresh mint leaves, minced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Good extra virgin olive oil from Sicily, Spain or Italy
To prepare the bread, preheat the oven to broil or prepare a grill (charcoal or gas to medium high heat). Grill the bread for 2 minutes, until golden on one side. Place bread grilled side up on a platter and immediately rub with the cut side of the garlic clove. The harder you rub, the more intense the garlic. Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil over each slice of bread. Set aside.
Cook the fava beans in boiling water, uncovered, until tender, 2 to 3 minutes, then drain and transfer to an ice bath This will stop the cooking process and keep the beans green. Gently peel off skins. Toss the fava beans into a bowl with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, hazelnuts, shaved Parmesan cheese, freshly minced mint, and season with salt and pepper.
To assemble, top the crostini with the bean mixture and, if you want, drizzle with more olive oil.
Adeline’s Tip: If can’t find any fresh fava beans, frozen work as well.
About Adeline: Adeline Borra is a private French chef and culinary instructor at Cook’s Warehouse. Born in Montpellier, France and raised in the wine region of Burgundy, she’s trained in high-profile kitchens across France and Spain. After spending three years in Torino, Italy, she and her family moved to Atlanta in 2006. Learn more, visit macuisinebyadeline.com.