Salsa marò or fava bean ‘pesto’

IMG_20150801_192554Just like last August’s post on a similar subject, I arrived in France, four days ago, with broad beans (fava beans) from the UK.  This time, however, there was a recipe on my agenda that had been there for too long and I had ran out of time to get to it back home.  Here in France the pace allows for more cooking.

Salsa Marò is a recipe from inland Liguria and the beautiful, bright green ‘pesto’ was traditionally used to tart up simple dishes of boiled, inexpensive red meat.  One recipe I came across involved the addition of anchovies which I did try and it certainly gives an added piquancy.   Nuts do not feature here so ‘pesto’ is not perhaps the right nickname for the sauce – it more closely resembles the niçois pistou which is nut-free.

Try the sauce on a toasted piece of crunchy pain de campagne (heaven – you could even top with some soft, fresh cheese for added extravagance), serve it with roasted meats or barbecued oily fish.

Salsa Marò

500g fava beans in pod (approx. 100g after podding, cooking and peeling the skins)
1 large clove of garlic, crushed
6 large mint leaves, finely chopped
20g pecorino, finely grated
Extra virgin olive oil to bind (approx. 75ml)
A pinch of salt

Blend the garlic and cooked, peeled beans in a pestle and mortar or a blender until you have a coarse paste.  Add the mint, cheese and salt and stir them in gently.  Finally add the olive oil gradually, stirring until you reach the consistency of pesto.

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