Dancing Tomatoes

local. seasonal. sustainable.

The avocado.  Is there another fruit so versatile it shines as a spread on a newly toasted slice of bread, smashed up with big, bold flavors like cayenne, lime juice, cilantro and garlic, puréed with sugar and vanilla and turned into ice cream or, even better, pie filling?  As if this weren’t enough, there is its nearly unparalleled cocktail of nutrients, from vitamin E and potassium to monounsaturated fat, fiber, and other minerals.  In a phrase, the avocado is a fruit of wonder. 

The World Has Noticed

And the world at large has noticed, resulting in a skyrocketing demand for the nubbly, green-skinned fruit.  As growers satisfy the demand, there is another cocktail being mixed, of water consumption, deforestation, corruption, greed, and lack of Fair-trade production.  Statistics abound and I could cite them, but what I want to do instead is make a suggestion.  Don’t give up your avocado, which is too luscious not to savor.  Do calm your consumption, and I’ve got just the ticket to help you do this.

Call it the methadone of the avocado addiction. it’s a delicious French accented solution, with its use of fava beans and its delicate spicing.   If it catches on – and many a chef and cook are resorting to blends like this as they discover the back story of avocado cultivation – we can reduce the pressure to produce, which will give the time necessary to put in place an acceptable environmental and social culture around the avocado.

So get to your stoves!  Your mixing bowls! Your cutting boards and your sharp knives and prepare this wonderful dish!

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Servings: 4 servings


  • 1-1/2 cups (185g) fava beans peeled (use frozen)
  • 1 teaspoon untoasted sesame paste (tahini), or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic green germ removed, coarsely chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin
  • Cilantro sprigs, for garnish


  • 1/2 cup (5g) cilantro leaves, or to taste
  • Cherry tomatoes, trimmed and diced
  • Chili powder or cayenne, to taste


  • Place the fava beans in a small saucepan and cover them by 2-inches (5cm) with water. Add ½ teaspoon of salt, and bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. When the water is boiling, cook the fava beans until they are tender crisp and still bright green, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain, reserving ¼ cup of the cooking liquid.
  • Transfer the fava beans to a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and process until the fava beans are nearly pureed, then add the cooking liquid, 1 tablespoon at a time, to achieve the consistency you like. Adjust the seasonings. This is the moment where you will add the suggested additions, or others. If adding cilantro leaves, mince them right before folding in.
  • Transfer the puree to a small bowl. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve.

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