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A Reason to Party

May 26, 1999

Party food usually comes in two forms: rich, fatty fried things and dips, and raw, naked vegetables. There's got to be a better way.

These crostini are one alternative. The toasted bread gives a satisfying crunch, and the fava bean puree is satisfyingly rich without being fatty. Best of all, the flavor is complex--the fava beans accented by a thin smear of tangy goat cheese and a bite of black pepper.

One pound of fava beans sounds like a lot, but it really isn't. Don't forget, these beans need to be peeled twice. After removing the beans from the pod, each individual bean must then be peeled.


Fava Bean and Goat Cheese Crostini

Active Work and Total Preparation Time: 30 minutes

1 pound fava beans, hulled and peeled

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon water

1/8 teaspoon salt

18 slices French bread, 1/4 inch thick

2 cloves garlic, cut in half

6 tablespoons fresh goat cheese

Cracked black pepper

* Cook fava beans in boiling water until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Process in food processor until beans are not quite smooth. Some chunkiness and texture should remain. Stir in olive oil, lemon juice, water and salt.

* Toast sliced bread at 375 degrees until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Rub each slice with cut clove garlic.

* Spread each slice with about 1 teaspoon goat cheese. Spread each with about 1/2 teaspoon fava bean mixture. Sprinkle with pepper.

18 crostini. Each crostini: 140 calories; 232 mg sodium; 2 mg cholesterol; 2 grams fat; 25 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams protein; 0.32 gram fiber.

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