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Fava Bean Pesto

I learned something new. At least new to me. Did you know you can use the leaves from fava bean plants to make pesto? While at Chino Farms one day, somebody mentioned to me that they used the fava bean leaves for pesto. What a brilliant idea! I just had to give it a try since our garden was brimming with these plants. I picked the nice small-ish tender leaves from the tops of the plants and also shelled the beans to go into this unique pesto. It’s an easy recipe that makes the most of this season’s fava beans while highlighting their natural flavor.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Fresh fava beans

Tender fava bean leaves

Garlic cloves

Olive oil

Pistachios, toasted

Parmesan cheese

fresh lemon juice

Salt and pepper

Radish, shaved

Bread slices

First, shell fresh beans and blanch them for 1 minute. Let cool and remove the tough outer skins. In a food processor, chop garlic cloves, add fava bean leaves, and in a steady stream, add olive oil. Process until leaves are chopped well and then add the favas, and a handful of toasted and cooled pistachios. Add grated parmesan cheese, process until just combined, adding a bit more oil if needed and a squeeze of lemon to brighten the flavors. Season to taste with sea salt. Spread on fresh sliced bread, top with shaved radish and a twist of fresh ground pepper.

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