Earthy Delights Recipe
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Fava and Wild Mushroom Crostini



Fava and Wild Mushroom Crostini
Fava beans and wild mushrooms are the perfect combination of field and forest, both delicately sweet and robustly earthy at the same time. This is some of the best that the spring season has to offer, flavors so good and so satisfying that it’s worth a little extra effort.

These elegant crostini are perfect for a casual dinner party. They’re actually very easy to prepare and to make things even simpler, we’ve broken the recipe down into three parts: the favas, the mushrooms and the bread. Each component can be easily prepared in advance and quickly assembled just before serving.
Ingredients:

Fava Bean Purée

1 cup fava beans, removed from their pods
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2 cup water
1 tsp lemon juice
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

 

Prepare an ice water bath. Fill a large bowl with cold water and ice cubes and set aside.

 

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the shelled favas and boil until the inner bean is bright green and tender, but still firm, about 2 minutes. Quickly drain the favas and immediately plunge them into the ice water bath until cool. Peel away the outer skin and discard; place the beans in a small bowl.

 

Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, stirring occasionally. Add the fava beans and stir, then add the ½ cup of water and bring to a boil.

 

Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to cook until the favas are quite tender, but not mushy, and most of the water has reduced. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

 

Transfer the fava mixture to a food processor and pulse until fairly smooth, but with a few chunks remaining. The mixture should be similar in texture and thickness to mashed potatoes. If it’s too thick, mix in a little water to reach the desired consistency. Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

 

Sautéed Wild Mushrooms

 

We used lobster and chicken of the woods mushrooms in our version of this recipe, but you can use any combination of wild mushrooms that you like. If you don’t have access to wild mushrooms, use some flavorful cultivated mushrooms – oyster, cremini or shiitake.

 

1 lb mixed fresh wild mushrooms – lobster, chanterelle, porcini, hedgehog etc.

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium garlic clove, finely chopped

½ cup dry white wine

24 fresh sage leaves

½ tsp truffle oil, plus more for drizzling (we love Jack Czarnecki’s Oregon White Truffle Oil, but use whatever you have handy)

Sea salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper

 

Clean the mushrooms by brushing away any soil or forest debris. If the mushrooms are very dirty, give them a quick rinse under cool running water and pat dry. Trim away any bad areas and then coarsely chop the mushrooms and set aside.

 

Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized sauté pan until it shimmers, but does not smoke. Deep-fry the sage leaves by dropping them into the hot oil a few at a time. Do not overcrowd the pan. Using a pair of kitchen tongs, carefully remove each leaf as soon as it becomes crisp, about 30 – 45 seconds. Drain the leaves on paper towels and set aside. Turn off the heat and allow the oil to cool slightly. Remove all but 2 Tbsp of oil from the pan. Reserve the extra oil for other uses – it will be pleasantly infused with the flavor and aroma of sage.

 

Return the pan to medium high heat and add the garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 1 minute, then add the chopped wild mushrooms. Continue to cook for 10 – 12 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the mushrooms have become soft and are slightly browned. Add the wine and continue to cook until the wine has been completely reduced. Remove from the heat, add salt and pepper to taste and stir in the truffle oil.

 

The Bread

 

1 loaf rustic bread, sliced 1/2 inch thick

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed

 

Crush the garlic clove and drop it into the olive oil and let it steep for at least 30 minutes. Use a good, sturdy rustic loaf, something with some substance and a chewy crust. Brush each slice generously with the garlic-infused olive oil. Grill each piece of bread over a wood, charcoal or gas flame, turning several times to toast them evenly. If a grill is unavailable, put them on a baking sheet and pop them into a pre-heated 400 degree oven, turning once, until they are crisp and nicely browned, about 7 minutes. Set aside.

 

Assemble the Crostini

 

Generously spread each toasted bread slice with the fava mixture. Heap the sauteed wild mushrooms onto the crostini and top with one or two crisp sage leaves. Drizzle with a little truffle oil and sprinkle with additional sea salt if desired.