Spring has more than sprung. The sun is out, our mint plants are overflowing their pots, and the farmers’ markets are awash in green thanks to fava beans that are at their peak. West Hollywood’s slick Italian favorite Cecconi’s is celebrating the climate with a new menu from chef Andrea Cavaliere who does May right with dishes like this simple (and simply delicious) bruschetta spread with a thick mash of favas and mint and topped with a lump of creamy buratta. It’s the season slathered on sourdough, whether as an appetizer for this weekend’s dinner party or a light lunch any ol’ time.
1 pound young fava beans (in pods)
1 garlic clove, peeled
4 tablespoons fresh mint leaves
4 tablespoons freshly grated pecorino cheese
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of Maldon sea salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
6 slices Pugliese or other sourdough bread, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
1 large garlic clove, peeled
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound burrata
Remove the fava beans from the pods. Briefly blanch the beans and then put into an ice bath to cool. When cooled, peel and pound the fava beans, garlic and mint with a mortar and pestle until the texture is thick. Remove and place in a bowl. Stir in the pecorino and the olive oil. Season with salt, pepper and the lemon juice.
Toast the bread on both sides, then lightly rub with a cut clove of garlic. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.
Top the toast with the fava bean spread and a spoonful of buratta.
Optional: Drizzle the bruschetta with extra virgin olive oil, fresh mint, and a sliver of Fresno red pepper for sweetness and a little decoration.