One of my favorite things to make with fava beans is pesto. It’s got a brighter flavor than the standard pesto, and is a lovely spring green color. I’m always looking for ways to cut down on fat in typically rich dishes, so there are a couple of things I do with this pesto. First, I use pumpkin seeds instead of pine nuts. Pumpkin seeds have about a third of the calories and only a fifth of the fat of pine nuts. Second, I use just a fraction of the olive oil in traditional pesto, and add a small amount of vegetable broth to thin the pesto out (since it’s much thicker without the huge amount of oil). So the overall reduction in calories and fat is enormous. But the great thing is, this pesto still tastes magnificent! Fresh ingredients are key, but because everything in the recipe is already pretty rich and bold tasting, I don’t think you lose a thing. The garlic was nowhere to be found during the ingredient photo shoot – what a diva!
Fava Bean Pesto
1/2 cup peeled, blanched, shelled fava beans
1/4 cup shelled, unsalted pumpkin seeds
1/2 c tightly packed basil leaves
4 cloves garlic
3/4 oz grated pecorino romano (or parmesan)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
4 tsp olive oil
2 Tbsp vegetable broth
1/4 tsp salt
Combine all ingredients in a food processor until the pesto has the desired texture (some graininess, but not too much).