A Feast Menu for the Spring Equinox

Fava and Tofu Bean Dip

This is a quick and easy recipe to make, and no wonder, people have had plenty of time to perfect the eating of them. Fava beans (also known as broad beans) have been grown and eaten for over 6,000 years. One can make this dip with fresh, canned, or dried fava beans. If beginning with the dried bean, they will need to be soaked overnight, rinsed and cooked again. One might find them for sale – still in their pod – young and small. If so, they just need to be shucked and are ready to eat. If they are larger and more mature the skin will need to be removed, as the older they get the tougher the outer skin will be. Some stores offer fava beans cooked, shelled, and vacuum-packed ready to use. If using raw the finished product will have a green color. If cooked the color will turn a light tan, creamy color. Either is fine depending upon availability and preference. Serve with vegetable sticks, which are also included below.

2 cups fava beans, baby raw or cooked (one pound of unshelled beans = 1 cup of shelled)
Or the quick fix is two cans of cooked fava bean, drained and rinsed.
½ cup medium tofu
½ cup almond meal
¼ cup parsley, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoons maple syrup
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon salt
Dash of cayenne pepper to taste
18 carrot sticks
18 jicama sticks
18 zucchini sticks

In a small pan heat the olive oil and sauté the onions and garlic until the onions are translucent, and set aside to cool. The fava beans can be used raw, but make sure they are very young and have not developed the tough outer skin. If they are mature drop them in salted boiling water for 1 minute and then blanche them in ice water. This will make them easier to peel. Place all ingredients into the blender and whir away until smooth. Cut the carrots, jicama, and zucchini into sticks approximately 2½” to 3″ long.

Lemon juice and tofu are of water. Fava beans might seem like a plant of earth, but they are hidden away in a pod, and have a good amount of moisture, so they are of water. The onions are water of fire. Maple syrup is of fire of water, because the resin of the tree is watery and it must go through a heating process in order to become syrup. Turmeric is a spicy tasting rhizome of fire, and when dried is air of earth. Almond meal and parsley are of air, and cayenne, garlic and olive oil are of fire. For the vegetable sticks, carrots are water of fire, jicama is of water, and zucchini is of earth.