Fava Bean Salata

Course : Greek
Serves: 8
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1 1/2 cups dried fava or butter beans soaked overnight in water
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic -- finely chopped
1/3 cup finely diced carrot
1/3 cup finely diced celery
1 piece bay leaf -- crumbled
2 1/2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon sea salt -- to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 slice coarse-grain bread crust removed -- and soaked for 5
------ -- MINUTES IN--- -- minutes in:
2 tablespoons olive oil -- (or to taste)
1 small lemon -- juiced
---for serving---
1 dash paprika -- (generous)

Preparation / Directions:

Drain the dried beans and place in large saucepan with cold water to cover. Bring slowly to a boil, drain and rinse. Rinse out the saucepan, return the beans to the pan, and add cold water to cover by 3 inches. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and gently simmer 25 to 30 minutes, or until soft. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Remove the fava bean skins with your fingers and spread the beans between layers of paper towels to dry. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large heavy skillet. Sauté the onion, garlic, carrot, celery, and bay leaf over medium-low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until dark golden brown, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Transfer to a food processor or blender container and add the bread. With the machine running, add about two thirds of the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and process until thick and smooth. Add a few tablespoons of water if the puree seems too thick, and add salt, pepper, olive oil, and/or lemon juice to taste. Serve on a platter, sprinkled with the remaining parsley and olive oil and the paprika. To make the traditional way: Pound the cooked vegetable-bean mixture and the bread in a large wooden mortar for 5 minutes. Slowly add about two thirds of the lemon juice and then 3/4 cup of the olive oil. Pound for 5 minutes longer, and add salt, pepper, olive oil, and/or lemon juice to taste. Source: Flavors of Greece - by Rosemary Barron ISBN: 0-688-07087-6

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