Now, you might think that "pumpkin seed cream" sounds a little heavy, but this dish is actually quite light. (In fact, even his baked gnocchi in pumpkin cream is much lighter than you would think it would be, thanks to a little secret he divulged to me. But that's another post!)
The unique flavors of this dish - a combination of sourness and heat and toasty nuttiness - would really jazz up the usual tired, pedestrian line-up of mayo-based salads that you tend to find at every summer barbecue. It's simplicity itself, and it all hinges on one thing: high-quality toasted pumpkin seed oil, which, as it turns out, is an Austrian specialty:
It's the oil that gives the cream that fresh, light green color, and imparts (when used in moderation) a beautiful umami undertone and "Oh yum, what is that?" flavor. Chef Mike didn't write down the amounts, as this is usually made in large batches - he said to just taste it. Which I did. And .... mmmmm.
Beans in Pumpkin Seed Cream
Medium-sized (20 oz) can broad beans, aka fava beans
(Note: Chef Mike said to use canned "salad beans." We had a bit of a language barrier figuring out exactly what type of beans he meant, but the slight punkiness of fava beans worked perfectly with the other ingredients. He prefers canned in this dish for the texture, but I think fresh fava beans, when you can get them, would be great as well.)
2 heaping tbsp sour cream
1/2 tbsp toasted pumpkin seed oil
1 tbsp mayonnaise (Please don't use mass market brands; try to get organic or make your own. You don't want that sugary taste you find in so many mayos; you should be able to taste the olive oil in it.)
1 heaping tsp hot mustard (actually Chef Mike said to use "estragon," a type of Austrian hot mustard, which you can order here.)
salt & pepper, to taste
Mix together all of the ingredients except the beans and adjust to taste. No one ingredient should dominate. Add to the beans and toss - that's it! It's simple to make, but the taste is anything but.
Thanks Chef Mike!