Serves a Crowd

Smashed Peas and Fava Beans with Fresh Mozzarella

June 26, 2011
1 Ratings
  • Serves 6-8
Author Notes

This recipe is adapted from Jamie Oliver's "Jamie at Home," and it is perfect because he is really the star of showcasing beautiful, fresh ingredients. Both the peas and fava beans are used raw in this recipe, and Jamie suggests mashing all the ingredients together using a mortar and pestle to get some 'bashed and bruised flavor that makes this dish incredible.' I don't have a mortar and pestle nearly big enough to do that, so to make the pea and fava puree, all I did was give the ingredients a whirl in a food processor or blender - The fava beans and peas are combined with fresh mint, bright lemon juice, savory parmesan, and extra virgin olive oil for richness. Once you make the puree, all you need to do is assemble the toasts and they are ready to serve. You can also use leftover pea and fava puree like pesto with pasta! - TheCilantropist —TheCilantropist

Test Kitchen Notes

This is a very filling appetizer. It was stunning visually on a platter and a burst of earthiness abounded from every bite. The pea and fava puree offered a steady platform for the silky mozzarella. A sprinkling of Parmigiano added a salty tang. I'd highly recommended this to accompany a salad for a light meal, as a hors d'oeuvre for a cocktail party or as a meat-free option for guests. I reserved some of the puree and added to omelets the next morning. This recipe is easy to prepare, can be made-ahead, and a wonderful way to use seasonal produce. Well done! - sexyLAMBCHOPx —sexyLAMBCHOPx

What You'll Need
  • Smashed peas and fava beans
  • 1 pound of peas in their pods, or about 5 ounces shelled
  • 1 1/2 pounds of fava beans in their pods, or about 9 ounces shelled
  • 1 bunch of fresh mint leaves (I used about 20 leaves)
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or more)
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • For serving:
  • Hearty bread like sourdough or ciabatta, sliced
  • Boccocini, buffalo mozzarella, or other fresh whey-packed mozzarella
  1. Shell the peas and fava beans, and remove some of the fava bean skins if they are thick. If you prefer, blanch the fava beans in boiling water for 3-5 minutes, and slip off the skins.
  2. Add the peas, fava beans, mint, and lemon juice to a food processor. Blend until the peas and beans are in small bits, then add the parmesan cheese and about 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Blend well, and then check for texture. You will probably need to add at least 1-3 more tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to get a smoother, richer texture - this will really depend on the size/texture of your peas and fava beans. You want the richness of the oil and the cheese to balance the peas and beans, and the texture should be spreadable yet still grainy.
  3. To serve, top sliced bread with some of the pea and fava bean puree, then tear off some of the fresh mozzarella to top the puree. If you like, add a bit more pea and fava puree on top and garnish with fresh peas, mint sprigs, or a sprinkle of parmesan. Serve immediately. Puree is best made the day of serving (color and flavor are brightest), but will keep refrigerated for 2-3 days more.
  4. ---This pea and fava bean puree can also be used like pesto - the addition of some extra olive oil will give a great consistency for coating the warm, fresh pasta.
  5. For more about this recipe, see:
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2 Reviews

Marci D. June 17, 2013
We loved this recipe! We put the mozzarella on top of toasted bread, then the dip and added a splash of balsamic vinegar on top.
sexyLAMBCHOPx July 11, 2011
This was delicious and easy to make!