The avocado toast trend’s got nothing on this traditional amazingly tasty, incredibly simple Greek power breakfast: 5 minutes, 5 ingredients, one bowl, and done!
KouKOfava (κουκόφαβα) or fava bean spread originally hails from the island of Crete and is a positively delicious, incredibly nutritious and absolutely beautiful spread made from fava or broad beans. Each bite of fava bean spread comes with a natural boost of B vitamins, plant protein, minerals, anti oxidants and fiber. I absolutely LOVE it on everything but most especially, on toasted multigrain bread drizzled in olive oil. Koukofava – the breakfast of real champions!
Ok, maybe kouKOfava doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily as Wheaties but you NEED to make this dish. This Cretan recipe for fava bean spread is made with fava or broad beans and not to be confused with the Greek dip fava which is made with yellow split peas – also amazing, here! They’re both made in a very similarly simple fashion with the tell-tale difference being that one is bright green and the other a soft yellow 🙂
My go-to for fava beans is Melissa’s Produce steamed fava beans. Just cut open the bag, drain and use – see why they’re my go-to? Oh, of course, they’re also fresh and delicious beans too! There are also plenty of good frozen options that simply need to be thawed on the counter for usually less than 30 min and you can always go with dried fava or broad beans. Fresh beans are hard to come by in my neck of the woods, I might bump into them once or twice a season so the steamed, frozen or dried options are for me.
Something to note: in traditional Greek cooking, fava beans are used with the peels on in almost all recipes. Thing is, I have never found UN-peeled fava beans either dried or frozen SO both the fava bean and artichoke stew and this fava bean spread call for peeled beans. It took a little bit to realize, when working on this recipe for TGV, because authentic Greek cooks in Greece use peel-on fava beans, our recipe with peeled beans had less bulk to soak up the olive oil called for so the trickiest part of the conversion was getting the olive oil quantity right. An exact third of a cup gives the most perfect, chunky, velvety, satisfying spread ever.
- 2 cups cooked, peeled fava beans
- 1 shallot, rough chopped
- 4-6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- additional thyme leaves, lemon zest, fresh ground black pepper and olive oil to garnish
In medium bowl, combine all ingredients – except olive oil – and stir gently to combine completely.
Transfer ingredients to bowl of food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Scrape down sides of bowl and add olive oil. Process for between 30 seconds to 1 minute depending on your desired chunky-ness or creaminess.
I use a-few-days-old bread, slice off the crusts (out they go for the birds!), brush top side liberally with good olive oil and toast under the broiler for just a minute or so. A thick slice of tomato and heaping scoop of fava bean spread on top of the toast and you’ll be in heaven. Go full-stop with a drizzle a olive oil over top with a few thyme leaves and lemon zest and you’ll have a breakfast/snack/dinner to die for! Yes, really good food brings out my more dramatic side 🙂