3 X

After three days at the Aspen Food and Wine Classic (details soon; have you been getting the tweets?), and trying to find a third for the Trinity I mentioned Wednesday, I tried out three recipes for something I have been longing for – fava beans! The recipes got me thinking of things that come in threes- and I may have gone a little crazy on it.


Three thoughts on music: 3 Bee Gees; 3 great tenors; 3 times a lady.


From law school- the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth; of the People, by the People, for the People; life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil; liberty, equality, fraternity; executive, legislative, and judicial.


On having a toddler: 3 little pigs, 3 bears in Goldilocks, 3 blind mice, 3 little kittens hho lost their mittens; 3 ring circus (often composed just of me to get the kid to eat); 3 cousins of Donald Duck (Huey, Dewey and Louie).


Because I love to read: 3 Musketeers; 3 parts in Dante’s Divine Comedy; 3 Bronte sisters (Charlotte, Emily, Anne); 3 Lord of the Rings books, 3 witches in Macbeth, 3 daughter of King Lear.


Being married to a sports guy: 3 periods in a hockey game; 3 minutes in a boxing round; 3 races in the triple crown; 3 strikes and you are out (also a personal life rule of mine); 3 points for a field goal; on your mark, get set, go!


Not that I am particularly religious (did you read the last post?), but: Peter Paul and Mary; 3 wise men; 3 monastic vows- poverty, chastity and obedience; Father Son and Holy Ghost; 3 times Peter denied Christ; Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.


Life musings: yes, no, maybe; small, medium, large (nothing wrong with adding Xs in this case); bad things come in 3s (my speeding tickets did over the course of …3 months); 3rd time’s a charm; sex, drugs and rock’n roll; 3 is a crowd (hmmm, always?).


Back to food: 3 teaspoons in a tablespoon (good to know!); carbs, fats, proteins; 3 bean salad; bacon, lettuce, tomato; coffee, cream, sugar; knife, fork, spoon;
three recipes for something I have been longing for – fava beans!


Fava Bean Puree Three (Denver) Ways!


My fresh beautiful fava beans were generously hauled from California- by airplane- by my good friend and San Francisco-travel-soul-mate, Shanelle. Three pounds of exquisite fava bean straight from a California Farmers Market ready to be transformed into three purees inspired by three fine Denver chefs, (1) Bob Blair of Fuel Cafe, (2) Teri Rippeto of Potager, and (3) John Broening of Duo and Olivea. You can find Blair’s original recipe here, Rippeto’s original recipe in the beautiful Colorado Organic Cookbook, and Broening’s recipe here.


These recipes are very similar and my personal favorite was John Broening’s because of its complexity in both taste and texture. That said, all three are easy to follow, great use of the fava beans, and producing a truly refreshing early summer treat.



Ingredients [same order as above-Blair, Rippeto, Broening]

(1) 1 pound fava beans, approx. ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped; salt and pepper to taste; ¼ pound fresh Marzolino cheese (young Manchego, which is also made from sheep’s milk, may be substituted) to shave on top of the crostini.


(2) 1 pound fava beans, ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon fresh mint, chopped; 1 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped; 1/2 stem green garlic, thinly sliced.


(3) 1 pound fava beans; ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil; 4 fresh mint leaves, chopped; 2 tablespoons toasted almonds, chopped; 2 tablespoons aged Pecorino Toscano cheese (and more for shaving on top of the crostini); pinch chili flakes; 1 small garlic clove, minced; 1 tablespoon minced red onion.


Freshly toasted baguettes slices and salt and freshly ground pepper for all.


Directions for all.


Shuck the fava beans – open each pod along the seam and remove the beans.


Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Get an ice bath ready also. Boil fava beans about 2-3 minutes, until tender then drain and cool in the ice water. When the beans are cool, drain well.



With the fingernail of your thumb, pop open each fava bean and peel off outer skin of each bean.


Purée peeled beans in food processor with the respective ingredients [minus the cheese reserved for shaving in (1) and (3)] until the mixture reaches the consistency of mashed potatoes or thinner if you wish. Add more olive oil if needed. Add salt and pepper to taste.


To assemble, spread a tablespoon of the fava bean pesto on each freshly toasted baguette slice. Top (1) with Marzolino cheese, (2) with a leaf of parsley, and (3) with a Pecorino shaving and a tiny piece of almond.


Favorites of yours that come in threes?


Photography by Jennifer Olson.

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  • Monet

    What gorgeous pictures…and I can't wait to hear more about the festival. And I adore Potager…my husband and I have been meaning to make a trip to Denver to eat there for a few weeks now!

  • Ruby

    3 nectarines left in the fruit bowl destined for 3 people in my house that I love (husband and 2 kids). And 3 quarters of an hour before my lazy morning ends and my day kicks into high gear… ;-)

    I'm so used to eating fava beans in Foul Medammas that I've never tried them any other way. Thanks for this entertaining and enlightening post!

  • The Housewife

    Simple but gorgeous fresh flavors! Waiting to read about your experience at the Aspen food and Wine festival!

  • The Mom Chef

    I love the whole piece prior to the fava bean recipe! It was so entertaining and thought-provoking. I'm now trying to think of more threes. I also think your three fava bean pesto is beautiful (as is your photography). Thank you for sharing.

  • Cooking with Kait

    I love fresh fava beans and especially love the version you shared with mint!

  • LawMama

    You remind me how lucky I am that I can get these every week while they are in season!

  • Chef Dennis

    they all sound so good!! I would have to taste them all three times to be sure which was best!

  • mydanishkitchen.com

    Oh wait you forgot the Three Stooges: Moe, Larry and Curly :) Very entertaining intro.
    Love your setup, nice and clean.

  • baking.serendipity

    This is such a cute post with delicious recipes :) I love all the well thought out 3's here.

  • Jean

    What a beautiful presentation of the fava bean–three ways! Admittedly, I've only ever sauteed mine, so these are all new ideas for me. Plus, 3 is my absolute favorite number so this post is great all around. Thanks!

  • zerrin

    A great fava recipe! Never tried it in these ways. They are amazing appetizers! I love especially the one with cheese, but combining them all would be great, too.

  • lisasfoods

    Cute post – very clever idea. I think I've only eaten fava beans once, in some kind of spread. I like how they look fresh out of the pod.

    My favorite thing that comes in three? A container of Neopolitan ice cream, with chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.

  • Andra

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and some of your favorites three-s. It looks like favas will be here in Colorado this week at the market and I am thinking another puree or another recipe is in order.

  • Lisa {Authentic Suburban Gourmet }

    I adore fava beans! Just made Fava Bean Crostini last weekend with small cubes of parmesan cheese, thyme, lemon zest, olive oil and salt and pepper. I leave the favas whole and then grill ciabatta bread and top with the fava bean mixture. Messy but super delicious!

  • Bethany

    Fabulous post, fabulous recipe, fabulous manicure…great things do come in threes! Can't wait to try the fava bean puree.