Labneh and fava panini

May 7, 2011  •  Category: , ,


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 (sourdough works here)
  • 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 few hours till it loses most of its whey; 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.



24 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Simon says:

    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. meriem says:

    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. Louise says:

    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. Amanda says:

    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. Jean says:

    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 says:

    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. Chiara says:

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

  8. Dana says:

    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. pierre says:

    tu me fais craquer !!

  10. Caffettiera says:

    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. Mark Wisecarver says:

    Excellent! 🙂
    @Simon, you can make your own, it’s easy and enjoyable.
    @Chiara…Love your blog 😉

  12. domi says:

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

  13. Lentil Breakdown says:

    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. Katherine says:

    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 says:

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

  16. Katie@Cozydelicious says:

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

  17. Peter says:

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

  18. tigerfish says:

    Now I get another idea for fava beans 🙂

    Happy Mother’s Day!

  19. Banana Wonder says:

    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. weirdcombos says:

    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. Oui, Chef says:

    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. gula welat says:

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

  23. Magic of Spice says:

    What a lovely idea for a bruschetta, looks very tempting 🙂

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