Chef Michael Fiorelli’s fava bean ricotta toast

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You know it’s really spring when fava beans show up at the market. Fava beans are ancient plants that scientists believe have been cultivated since at least as far back as 6000 B.C. Often called a broad bean, the legume is more pea than bean. It is still grown today for food and as a cover crop to prevent erosion and help return nitrogen to the soil.

I love throwing handfuls of the funky green pods into the center of a table of friends. We shuck and eat them raw in between sips of prosecco.

In my neck of the woods, farmers are bringing bushels of the bright green plants with pods, leaves, flowers and all to the market. Chef Michael Fiorelli of Love & Salt recommends tossing tender freshly shelled beans with olive oil, lemon juice and salt before eating them raw on ricotta toast. Watch out avocados, you’ve got some stiff competition.

Recipes courtesy of Chef Michael Fiorelli, Love & Salt