Spreading on the Summer … Fava Beans

Cooking during summer does not get complicated in this house like the winter feasts:

Fire up the grill and slap a fish or skewers loaded with meat on it:

(featuring our favorite fish to grill, Pompano)

Bring out the cold beer:

Have friends bring delicious side dishes:

(Anitha’s red quinoa stuffed portabella mushrooms, not pictured: Kelly’s awesome lettuce-bean salad and Shelly’s rich brownies)

And make some spreads and dips to munch on while waiting on the grill.

This spread made from fava beans is one that has become a constant menu item in my family. In Turkey we call the dish “Fava” and I had no idea where the name came from before I came to the US. Because the Turkish name for the fava beans is “bakla” which has no resemblance to  fava except two “a”s. Anyway… Now I know!

Normally we serve it as a side dish in Turkey but I decided to go with the spread option in this case. The beans like fava gives you the opportunity to play up the spices, garlic and herbs as you wish. So use the recipe below as a go-by and adjust the amounts, change the spices as you wish.

Did someone say “Play”???

Have a great summer!


Fava Bean Spread

(makes 10-12 servings as side dish, plenty as spread)

  • 1 lbs (about 450 gr) dry fava beans
  • 2 large yellow onions (grated or finely chopped in the food processor)
  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup fresh dill
  • More lemon juice, crushed garlic, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper in hand for taste adjustments

1. Soak the dry fava beans overnight in water.

2. In a heavy, large saucepan, heat olive oil, add grated onions. Saute the onions for five minutes.

3. Add garlic, fava beans, salt, pepper, sugar and lemon juice. Cover with 6 cups of water. Bring it to a boil , then turn the heat down to medium. Cook until the beans are thoroughly cooked.Add more water if necessary during cooking. Once beans are cooked, it should be in thick soup consistency, not too watery. If you end up with lots of water at the end of cooking, try not to transfer it into the food processor.

4. After it cools for 30-40 min, using a blender or food processor, process everything in the pan and make a puree. Transfer into a mixing bowl. Chop fresh dill and stir it in with a spatula.  Adjust the seasonings to your taste (more garlic, more lemon, more spicy…etc)

5. Line a 9-inch cake pan with plastic wrap and pack the bean puree in. Cover with the wrap and put in the fridge for at least 2-3 hrs. To serve, take it out of the pan, serve cold, right out of the fridge with warm pita bread or baguette slices.


  1. by Lisa @ Tarte du Jour
    2:58 pm
    Jun 12, 2012

    This looks like a fabulous spread! Yesterday I made some hummus which reminds me of “Fava” except with chickpeas. I’d like to give this a try!

  2. by Elaine
    8:30 am
    Jun 13, 2012

    Fava beans are new for me to eat and prepare. We have been getting some in our CSA box lately and I haven’t quite known what to do with them, so I am truly thankful for this recipe and will give it a try. It looks really good! Beautiful photos!

  3. by rebecca
    4:42 pm
    Jun 13, 2012

    love this healthy and tasty and your dog is adorable look forward to catching up soon hugs

  4. by lisaiscooking
    10:01 am
    Jun 14, 2012

    This looks so great on the platter. I always love bean spreads, but I’ve never made one with favas. Can’t wait to try it.

  5. by achowlife
    6:05 pm
    Jun 14, 2012

    I don’t care to do complicated dishes in the summer either. While the days are longer, there is much more time for fun! I absolutely LOVE fava beans too. I’ll have to try this soon. xoxoxo

  6. by Valentina
    2:27 am
    Jun 15, 2012

    The “Fava” looks delicious — and the dog is adorable! :-)

  7. by Shelley
    10:24 pm
    Jun 15, 2012

    What a sweet looking pup! And I’m so jealous of that pompano- when we lived on the coast Eric used to catch some and bring it home to pan fry for dinner. Nothing like freshly caught fish. The fava bean spread looks terrific as well!

  8. by Parsley Sage
    2:36 pm
    Jun 16, 2012

    OHMIGOSH! That is quite a spread. Be glad I’m not there. My face would have been planted it in in like 3 seconds. Holy yum.

    And is that your stressed out thunderstorm-destructo puppy? Couldn’t possibly be ;) Looks so sweet!

  9. by Angie@Angie's Recipes
    12:33 am
    Jun 17, 2012

    A delicious bean spread! So this is your sweet and stubborn puppy ;-)

  10. by kitchenriffs
    2:27 pm
    Jun 18, 2012

    I haven’t done much with fava beans, but I love spreads and dips of any kind, and this looks particularly nice. In fact your blog looks particularly nice – I found you through your guest post at Cafe Terra. Really nice – I’ll be back.

  11. by Anitha
    11:11 pm
    Jun 19, 2012

    I am a star now!

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