Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Blanch the fava beans for 5 minutes, then drain and plunge into on ice-water bath. Once the beans are cool, peel them by pinching off the skin.
Put the beans in a food processor. Add the garlic, lemon juice, and thyme and pulse for several seconds until the beans are coarsely chopped. With the machine running, add the 1/4 cup olive oil until well combined. Stir in the 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Set aside.
Preheat on oven to 350°F. Cut the baguette into 1/4-inch diagonal slices. Using a pastry brush, coat both sides of the bread slices with the 2 tablespoons olive oil. Place the bread in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until light golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Using a butter knife, spread 1 teaspoon fava bean puree on each toast. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and serve at room temperature.
PEELING FAVA BEANS
Fava beans, also called broad beans, have been cultivated in Southwest Asia and the Mediterranean for thousands of years. The beans are eaten fresh when picked early in the season, or as a dried bean when allowed to mature on the vine. To cook fresh favas, shell the beans from the spongy pods. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the favas for 3 minutes. Drain the beans and refresh with cold water. Peel the beans by pinching the dark green ridge on the round side of the bean and pulling open the skin. Slip out the bright green bean and discard the skin. One pound of fava bean pods will yield 1 cup of shelled beans.
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