Labneh and fava bruschetta

My mom’s  favorite dish is a traditional Lebanese stew of fava beans in yogurt sauce flavored with cilantro or mint pesto and served with rice. Instead of making this, I thought of translating these flavors into an open-faced sandwich, like a bruschetta.

The stalls are filled with fresh fava beans at the  neighborhood Middle-Eastern store. Feel free to use frozen ones to save time shelling them.

Cover the toasted bread with a garlicky labneh (yogurt cheese),  mash a few fava beans (keeping some whole for good looks), season them with some cilantro pesto. Devour.

INGREDIENTS: 4 servings

  • 4 slices of your favorite bread
  • 1 1/2 cup of yogurt (or a jar of ready-made labneh)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 1/2 cup of fava beans
  • 1/4 cup of cilantro pesto (or 1 bunch of cilantro and 6 cloves of garlic)
  • Olive oil, as needed


  1. If using fresh fava beans, shell them and drop them in salted boiling water for 3 minutes; drain and when cool, peel them. Set aside. Mince cilantro leaves fine and mash some garlic cloves with a dash of salt in a mortar till pasty (you need one teaspoon of mashed garlic for this recipe); heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small skillet and gently fry the garlic and cilantro for 10 seconds while stirring with a wooden spoon. Transfer the cilantro pesto to the bowl of fava beans and mix to combine well.
  2. Line a sieve over a bowl with a coffee filter or a paper towel and drop the yogurt onto the towel; let the yogurt drain for a least a couple of hours; transfer the drained yogurt or labneh to a bowl and add half a teaspoon of mashed garlic with salt to the labneh, mixing well. Taste to adjust seasoning.
  3. Toast the bread in a 300F oven till golden; slather a generous amount of labneh on the bread and top with a generous amount of fava beans. Serve immediately.

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  1. Posted May 7, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    We will definitely try this one as we get great fresh fava beans (sora mame) here in Japan. Yogurt cheese might present a problem, but will improvise! Thanks!

  2. Posted May 7, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    J’aime beaucoup ta bruschetta et j’imagine bien le gôut avec menthe et coriandre. Je te fais confiance, ça doit être délicieux. Bonne soirée.

  3. Posted May 7, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    I have never been able to warm up to fava beans, Joumana. However, this dish sounds delightful and I would be willing to try again.

    Thank you so much for sharing…Wishing your Mom a Happy Mother’s Day:) Louise

  4. Posted May 7, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    This looks like such a fresh and light lunch dish – shame that we are heading into winter, so no fresh beans here for a while.

  5. Posted May 7, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    My husband and I were just talking about picking up fava beans this week. They’re being harvested now on the coast (northern California) and they’re so sweet when fresh. My fava bean cooking repertoire is very narrow so I appreciate this appealing option for this season’s harvest. I would like to try the stew sometime, too. :-)

  6. Angel of the North
    Posted May 8, 2011 at 1:01 am | Permalink

    This looks delicious.furion food. It will have to wait until broad beans are in season. I know that there are all sorts of dish to be made with the dried version but they are unobtainable in most of the UK. I do my own labneh the same way as you ans like ringing the changes with different yoghurts plus additions like wild garlic or chives. A good quality flavoured sweet yoghurt can also point in some interesting dessert directions.
    My mail order spices have come quickly and I am now the proud owner of genuine dried Aleppo peppers for my muhammara.

  7. Posted May 8, 2011 at 1:20 am | Permalink

    What a wonderful idea Joumana, I like ! have a lovely Sunday….A hug…

  8. Posted May 8, 2011 at 2:36 am | Permalink

    I will definitely have to try this! I make labneh all the time but not once did I ever try it with garlic and it sounds amazing!!

  9. Posted May 8, 2011 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    tu me fais craquer !!

  10. Posted May 8, 2011 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    I don’t find fava beans yet – but I have to wait just a few days I think. I made a soup by Ottolenghi with similar flavours and I loved it, they must work great on a bruschetta.

  11. Posted May 8, 2011 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Excellent! :-)
    @Simon, you can make your own, it’s easy and enjoyable.
    @Chiara…Love your blog ;-)

  12. Posted May 8, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Bonjour Joumana, excellente cette ” tartine ” simple et pleine de fraîcheur pour un moment gourmand en toute simplicité…

  13. Posted May 8, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    I love the improvisation of this. Just had a fava bean ravioli yesterday that I really liked. Your combo of flavors sounds so vibrant. Happy Mother’s Day, Joumana!

  14. Posted May 8, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    This sounds absolutely delightful! Fava beans are in season and in abundance in Israel, and it’s about time I put them to good use! Can’t wait to try your recipe. Beautiful photos as well.

  15. Anne
    Posted May 8, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    This looks fantastic! I am so thankful I found your blog from Foodgawker.

  16. Posted May 8, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    This looks fantastic! I am obsessed with favas right now, so this is perfect. Yum!

  17. Posted May 8, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    The thicker the yogurt – the better…a colourful, simple yet delish appetizer or snack. Again, Happy Mother’s Day!

  18. Posted May 9, 2011 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    Now I get another idea for fava beans :)

    Happy Mother’s Day!

  19. Posted May 9, 2011 at 3:14 am | Permalink

    this is my kinda snack! love the labneh… speaking of fava, just picked up some fava shoots at the farmers market this weekend. it’s my first time cooking with them!

  20. Posted May 9, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Love the last step of making it: Devour!
    It’s the season, this is the time of the year to devour fava your beans!
    I only discovered fava beans after I moved to the US. I’ve been trying to catch up for few years now. Thanks for this inspiring recipe.

  21. Posted May 9, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    I just bought some great locally made greek style yogurt with which to make labneh, THIS is what I will do with it when it achieves its thick, creamy perfection! – S

  22. Posted May 12, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    très bonne idée cette bruschetta, aux saveur du moyen orient. Labneh et fèves, je ne doute pas du mélange miam

  23. Posted May 13, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    What a lovely idea for a bruschetta, looks very tempting :)

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