Pistou of Summer Veggies with Goat Cheese and Faro Cracker

6 servings
45 min prep time
04 hrs 30 min total time



10 medium (about 6 ounces) asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces

1 cup (3 ounces) sugar snap peas

1 1/2 pounds fresh fava beans, or fresh soy or lima beans, depending on availability

4 cups fresh basil leaves, loosely packed

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 small shallot, finely chopped

1 1/2 cups vegetable stock or canned vegetable broth

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Faro Crackers

1 cup faro

1 cup whole milk

3 cups water

1 cup coconut milk

Pinch of salt

Goat Cheese Spread

8 ounces Vermont Creamery Goat Cheese at room temperature

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

2 shallots, diced small

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh cream

3 tablespoons fresh mixed herbs such as chervil, chives, oregano, and parsley, coarsely chopped

Salt and pepper to taste


  • STEP 1

    Prepare the crackers: Place all cracker ingredients in a medium saucepot and bring to a simmer. When faro is very soft, and overcooked, remove from heat and puree in a food processor. Spread mixture onto a Silpat baking mat with an offset, very thin spatula. Place in a preheated, 250ºF, oven for about 1 1/2 hours. Remove from oven. Using a knife, cut into small rectangles, about 1 x 4 inches. Return to oven and continue cooking for about 3 more hours, or until the crackers are brittle. Store extra crackers in an airtight container.

  • STEP 2

    Prepare the Pistou: In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring salted water to boil. Have ready a large bowl of ice water.

  • STEP 3

    Blanch asparagus and snap peas separately for about 2-3 minutes, or until the vegetables are just tender. Immediately remove each vegetable from the pot and shock in the bowl of iced water. Drain and pat dry.

  • STEP 4

    Repeat process with fava beans, blanching for about 1 minute. Drain and slip the outer skin off each fava bean. Discard skins. Repeat the process with the basil, blanching for about 45 seconds. Spread on paper towels to dry.

  • STEP 5

    In a large bowl, combine the blanched vegetables. Transfer half of the vegetable mixture to a blender and add the basil. Blend until chopped, then add 5 tablespoons olive oil in a slow, steady stream, and puree until smooth.

  • STEP 6

    In a heavy, large saucepan, over medium-high heat, heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add shallot and sauté until translucent, 3-5 minutes. Stir in vegetable stock, vegetable puree, and the remaining blanched vegetables, salt, and pepper, and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are heated through, about 3-5 minutes.

  • STEP 7

    Prepare goat cheese spread: Using an electric blender, whip all the spread ingredients together.

  • STEP 8

    To serve, ladle pistou into bowls and sprinkle each with the herb mixture. Serve with faro crackers and goat cheese spread.