My head is full, my heart is ready. A few more days and it all shall pass, as they say. The last few days of the semester are the hardest, but most important, times to practice balance and moderation. In Sanskrit, moderation is matannuta, knowing the right amount: where well-being and contentment come together. I’m thankful for this Buddhism exam. It throws me beautiful and thought provoking buoys while navigating the sticky stuff.
Cooking provides the time and space to step away from what crowds our day planners, our thoughts, and helps us to practice “the right amount.” Too much vinegar will overpower your salad, not enough yeast will leave your loaves lifeless.
I love this fava bean crostini, for it is just the right amount.
Creamy Fava Bean Crostini (adapted from Kay Chun, Gourmet)
- 1 cup shelled fresh fava beans (1 1/4 pounds in pods)
- 1 1/2 cups packed baby arugula (or spinach if bitter greens aren’t your party)
- 2 medium sized ripe avocados
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced
- 8-10 mint leaves, finely minced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- sliced multi-grain baguette
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- (optional) wild caught Alaskan salmon
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.
Remove fava beans from their pods, and cook in a pot of boiling water for 3 to 4 minutes, then drain and transfer to an ice bath to stop cooking. Gently peel off skins, and set aside.
In a food processor, pulse avocados and arugulua until very coarsely chopped. Add fava beans, lemon zest, lemon zest, salt, pepper, and minced fresh mint. Pulse for 1-2 minutes.
Cut bread into thin slices,and lay flat on a cookie sheet and smear with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake until golden crisp, 8-10 minutes.
Spoon fava-bean mixture onto toasts with a few sprigs of arugula, then drizzle with oil. Lemon broiled salmon makes a perfect topper… just saying (smiles).