Fava Bean Mash

appetizer cracker


This recipe was originally created for a party I recently catered for my dear friend Kyle of Kyle Irwin Design. He had an open house for his new gorgeous office and asked if I would do the food.  I’m not a caterer but honestly, anything for Kyle.

I prepped most everything to be served at room temperature. My new favorite crackers made the perfect landing spot for this yummy spring mash of fava beans. Fava beans, or runner beans, are known for their sweet taste (and yes, also for being a favorite of Hannibal Lector).


fava bean mash

To remove the pea from the pod you have to peel twice. I know this sounds like a lot of work, but shelling beans has turned into one of my favorite times in the kitchen with my girls. All of us sitting around the island, with fingers moving and mouths motoring is so much fun— the beans are just a bonus.

fava bean mash

girls with favas

Photo by Evan Janke



Fava Bean Mash

Fava Bean Mash


Makes about 2 cups


Note: Forgo the Cuisinart with this one, a nice rough chop on the fava beans and a fine chop for everything else really allows the sweet flavors of the favas to come through.


3/4 cup fava beans, peeled

3 T fresh mint, finely chopped (reserve the smallest leaves for garnish)

1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

Zest of one lemon

Juice of half a lemon

1/2 cup Pecorino

1/2 cup arugula, finely chopped

1 small clove of garlic, finely chopped

1/3 cup olive oil (best quality)(or more as needed)


Peel the fava beans out of the outer pods and drop them into salty boiling water for 30 seconds. Then, you can pop the fava right out of its skin.  This is my favorite way to prep them because it par cooks the bean, which makes it a perfect consistency and color for this mash.


Once the beans the beans have been shed of their second skin, give them a rough chop and mix with the other ingredients.


This can be made a few hours ahead of time and stored in the fridge. Just bring to room temperature before serving.


When your mash is ready  you can put a teaspoon size dollop on a cracker, garnishing with a mint leaf for this appetizer.


But it would also be delicious tossed with cold pasta, warm pasta, heck- even put it on a baked potato and it would be awesome.