Delicate, tender fava beans and lemony ricotta are slathered on ciabatta toasts and sprinkled with shards of crispy, salty prosciutto. This simple recipe highlights fresh fava beans and the bright flavors of spring.
Prep Time:30 minutes
Cook Time:25 minutes
Total Time:55 minutes
1 loaf ciabatta (for twelve 1″ slices)
olive oil for drizzling bread, plus 2 tbsp
freshly ground black pepper
5 pieces of prosciutto
2 lbs fresh fava beans (to yield 1 cup of shelled beans)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup + 2 tbsp ricotta
zest of 1 lemon
Preheat oven to 400 F. Slice the ciabatta into twelve 1″ thick slices and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and toss to coat. Bake 5- 8 minutes, or until edges are crisp and golden but the center of the bread still has some softness and give. Transfer to cooling rack and set aside.
Place slices of prosciutto on same baking sheet and return to oven for about 10 minutes, or until crisp. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Break the prosciutto into pieces and set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and fill a medium sized bowl with ice water for blanching. Break open the fava bean pods. Slide your finger along one side, opening the seam as you would a zipper. If a pod doesn’t open easily, use a paring knife and slit the bean pod entirely open, exposing the spongy insides and the beans. Remove the beans and discard the pods.
Salt the boiling water and blanch the fava beans for 30 seconds. With a slotted spoon, remove the beans from the hot water and immediately plunge into a bowl filled with iced water to stop the cooking. With your fingers or a paring knife, remove the top of the shell and squeeze the other end of the shell to pop out the fava bean. Discard the outer skin. Toss the fava beans with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add one tbsp olive oil, mix, taste and add more olive oil if desired. Set aside.
Combine ricotta and lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Slather the ciabatta toasts with about 1 1/2 tbsp ricotta mixture each. Divide fava bean mixture evenly across the ricotta toasts and garnish with prosciutto crumbles. Serve immediately.