Amber’s Ful Medames (fava bean dip or salad base)
I’ve known Amber Cauble since she started preschool with my daughter more than three decades ago. It’s so heartwarming when grown children share their friends with parents, and even better when those friends share their culinary treasures.
Cauble is a skillful cook and a bit of a culinary detective. Growing up in Huntington Beach, she spent a lot of time at the Ququndah home, endearing Arab-American neighbors that endlessly created delicious fare sourced from their culinary roots in Beirut.
She took mental notes.
One of those dishes is Ful Medames, a delectable fava bean concoction that I love even more than hummus.
It can be used as a dip or served for breakfast topped with salad-like garnishes such as cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, green onions, parsley and hard-cooked eggs.
Cauble prepares the dish in minutes. She uses canned favas that she partially mashes, adding plenty of fresh lemon juice, plus ground cumin, garlic, dried red chili flakes and olive oil. She serves it as a dip accompanied with either crackers or pita.
Amber’s Ful Medames (Fava Bean Dip or Salad Base)
Yield: 6 servings
1 (15-ounce) can fava beans, half of liquid drained off
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin, plus more if needed
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 medium garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, plus more if needed
Good pinch dried red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
For serving as a dip: crackers or pita chips
For serving as a meal: sliced cucumber, sliced tomatoes, sliced green onion, chopped parsley, hard-cooked eggs
1. Place partially drained beans in a medium large bowl; use tines of fork to mash about half of the beans. Add cumin, salt, pepper, garlic, juice and pepper flakes; stir to combine. Drizzle on oil and stir to combine. Taste and add more cumin, pepper flakes and/or juice as needed. (Don’t be reluctant to tinker; I add more juice and more cumin.)
2. Serve as a dip or as a meal accompanied with cucumber, tomato, green onion, parsley and hard-cooked egg.
Nutrition information (per serving as a dip): 150 calories, 30 percent of calories from fat, 5 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 2 mg cholesterol, 19 g carbohydrates, 6 g protein, 475 mg sodium, 3 g fiber