Warm fava hummus with caramelised pistachio butter

by Jenny Chandler

An unusual hummus, made using British fava beans rather than chickpeas

Since I discovered Hodmedod’s British split fava beans (available at Spice Mountain) I can’t stop making this ‘hummus’, particularly when topped with the very indulgent butter. The beans are skinned and split, so they require no soaking at all and cook in about half an hour.


250g split fava beans
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
Juice of 1 lemon
100ml extra virgin olive oil
50g unsalted butter
50g pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
Good pinch of Urfa chilli flakes (or any other sweet, slightly smoked chilli)


Place the fava beans in a small pan, pour in enough cold water to cover the beans by about 5cm, then place over a medium heat. Skim off the froth as the beans come up to the boil, then simmer until they begin to soften and collapse into the cooking liquid. Do add a little extra water if needed but only enough to stop the favas from drying out. The idea is to puree the beans and liquid to make the hummus, but if they are very wet you could strain through a sieve.

Whizz up the beans using a blender, stick blender or food processor and mix in the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and salt to taste. Spoon into a warm bowl. You could, of course, serve this minus butter, but please do give it a go, you may become hooked.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan—ideally a steel pan rather than dark, non-stick one so that you can watch the colour of the butter changing later.

Turn up the heat until the butter begins to froth, then use your nose: once you begin to get that gorgeous biscuity smell you need to be on your guard. Swirl the pan a little so that you can see what’s going on and once the little flecks of milk solids are turning a foxy reddish brown it’s time to quickly tip the butter into a heatproof container to stop it from burning. Too pale and the butter will taste cloying and fatty, too dark and it will taste burnt (just like a sugar caramel).

Stir the pistachios and chilli flakes into the butter along with a small pinch of salt.

Swirl the butter over the warm hummus and serve right away with toasted bread.

Recipe & image: Jenny Chandler