This spread is similar to hummus, but it does not have chickpeas. Instead, I used crushed dried fava beans locally grown by Oma Maa food co-op (the beans were a part of the food bag I got from them in December). I’ve been thinking of what to do with them, and finally, I found a delicious use.
Being involved with the producer of the food product you use is a great thing. Why? You can, of course, just go to the supermarket and buy a package of crushed fava beans, there are many different brands. However, when you know the producer, you also get to learn how the beans are prepared. Let me tell you.
After being harvested, the beans are taken to Oma Maa’s kitchen building, which is slightly farther away from the farm (Lassila Farm in Tuusula). The kitchen building has different rooms: a cold room to keep harvested produce where there is also a couple of freezers, a room full of machines where you can wash and peel fresh produce, crush or grind dried produce, a kitchen where cooking, steaming, baking, drying, cutting and so on are made, and a large room in the middle to keep the ready products, such as bags of dried produce, fermented products and so on.
In this building, fava beans are first soaked in water overnight. The next day, they are steamed for about one hour. After steaming, they are left overnight in the dryer. Finally, the next day, the dried beans are crushed in the machine and put in bags. After that, off to the weekly bags!
There is a – rightful – argument about “kids not knowing where their food is coming from” for a long time now. But we don’t talk so much about us adults not knowing precisely where our food is coming from. You may be careful about the origin of the product you buy, is it local or does it come from another country, which country, and so on. You may try to buy local and seasonal, which are all good. But it is also essential to know how those local products are produced, and if their production methods are sustainable, environment-friendly, and ethical. Consuming locally does not automatically make you part of a sustainable food system. But for instance, being part of a food co-operative such as Oma Maa makes you consume locally and be an active part of the food system. And to reach a food system that is much better than what we have now, to be an active actor in it is an important step.
(serves 6-8 as a side dish)
3 dl + 2 tsp (or 1 1/4 cups or 250 gr.) crushed dried fava beans
5 dl + 5 dl (or 2 + 2 cups) water
4 large cloves of garlic
1 dl + 4 tsp (or 1/2 cup) tahini
1 dl + 4 tsp (or 1/2 cup) olive oil
4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
6 tbsp lemon juice
1.5 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1 heaped tsp ground cumin
To serve (optional):
chili pepper flakes
a drizzle of olive oil
- Put beans and water in a pot. Cook on medium heat, frequently stirring, without a cover, for about 15 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed. In the ingredients list, I put 5 dl + 5 dl water. I used a total of 1 l for my beans in the end. However, there may be differences in beans. Therefore, I recommend you start with 5 dl water and then only add 5 dl more water gradually if you need it. In the end, you must have cooked beans that absorbed a lot of water and is almost paste-like as they are in the pot. While cooking the beans, there will be a little foam on top of the water. Collect this foam with a spoon.
2. When the beans cook, put all the ingredients in a food processor and process until the mixture becomes a smooth paste. If it gets too thick, you can add a little bit of water (gradually). Taste and add more salt if necessary. Serve with all or some of the ingredients I recommended above in the list and, of course, with a slice of nice crusty bread, or freshly made flatbread or crackers you like. Enjoy!