Creamy fava bean pâté with grated-egg dressing

Creamy fava bean pâté with grated-egg dressing

Lisa Cohen and William Meppem

When we first saw a slab of this pale green pâté on a tray of mezze dishes in Istanbul’s Refik restaurant, we had no idea what it was. It’s made by pouring a thick bean purée into a mould and chilling it until it sets firm. The resulting pâté has a smooth, creamy texture and its mild flavour is quite addictive. Although the grated egg is not really Turkish, I find it adds colour and texture and an extra flavour dimension.

Serve drizzled with olive oil, chopped dill, paprika and lemon, or, if you want to be a bit fancy, dill and lemon dressing. Cut off little slices and eat with warm or toasted flat bread. Fava beans are simply dried broad beans, and are available whole (skins on) or split (skinless). Try to find the split skinless kind if you can.


Quantity Ingredient
200g split fava beans
60ml olive oil
2 onions, chopped
drizzle honey
1 small garlic clove, sliced
800ml water
1 lemon, juiced
sea salt
freshly ground white pepper
1 hard-boiled egg, finely grated
extra-virgin olive oil, to serve
dill, chopped, to serve
sweet paprika, to serve
pinch chilli flakes, to serve
lemon wedges, to serve


  1. Soak the dried beans overnight in plenty of cold water, and remove the skins if necessary.
  2. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan, then add the onions and sauté for a few minutes over a medium heat. Stir in the honey and sauté for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse the beans and add them to the pan with the garlic, water and lemon juice. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for around an hour, or until the beans are tender. If there is still liquid in the pan, increase the heat and bubble vigorously until it has evaporated, taking care that the mixture doesn’t stick and burn.
  3. Blend the beans to a smooth purée in a vitamiser. The mixture will be very thick and creamy. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into well-oiled moulds or a greased shallow plastic tray. Chill, covered, overnight.
  4. When ready to eat, turn the pâté out onto a serving plate or cut into little squares or diamond shapes. Scatter on the grated egg, then drizzle with the extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle on the dill, paprika and chilli flakes. Serve with lemon wedges.
Middle Eastern
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