Fava Bean Toast

One of my absolute favorite spring vegetables, fava beans are tender, nutty, and slightly sweet like fresh peas. They have been popping up early in the bay this season, so I had to get my hands on them. I will say, they are a commitment. You have to go through two rounds of shelling and a quick blanche to get to their tasty core. Fava bean mash is a classic preparation of these spring gems, and I like to elevate mine with za’atar, yogurt, feta, pickled red onions, and lots of fresh herbs.

Makes about 1 cup fava bean mash


For the fava bean mash

  • 3.5 pounds fava beans in the pod
  • 1 tbs + ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbs lemon juice, or more to taste
  • ¼ tsp za’atar
  • Pinch of chili flakes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • Toasts
  • Full fat greek yogurt or labneh
  • Picked mixed herbs, mint, dill, cilantro, or parsley recommended. 
  • Pickled red onions 
  • Feta cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Crunchy salt 
  • Pepper
  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. 
  2. Shuck the beans from their pods. Prepare a bowl filled with ice water, large enough to fit all of the beans. 
  3. Drop the beans in the boiling water, cook for 2 minutes. 
  4. Drain the beans and immediately plunge into the ice bath. Let cool. 
  5. Using your hands (fingernails help), carefully remove the thin, translucent, outer shell of each bean, revealing a bright green center. 
  6. Head a pan with 1 tbs of olive oil. Saute the garlic until fragrant. 
  7. Add the now shelled fava beans and stir to saute for 2-3 minutes. 
  8. Add ¼ cup water and saute until the water is absorbed. Cover, remove from heat, and let sit 10 minutes. 
  9. Place the beans and garlic mixture in a bowl and use a wooden spoon or pestle to mash the favas into a chunky paste. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, za’atar, chili flakes, and ⅛ cup olive oil. Taste, season with salt and pepper to your liking. Add the additional ⅛ cup olive oil if needed to get to your desired consistency.


  • Spread yogurt onto your toasts and top with your fava bean mash. Top with feta, red onions, herbs, a drizzle of olive oil, and crunchy salt to taste.