Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Crisp and refreshing: fresh fava bean salad

If you are like me, you’re probably not feeling like cooking over a hot stove right now. Hopefully you are not exactly like me and your air conditioning hasn’t conveniently decided to break down on the hottest day of the year.

I’m sticking to salads, sushi and frosty desserts right now. I’m revisiting some old favorites, like spinach couscous salad, and exploring some new salads. I’m giving my ice cream maker a run for its money (a frozen yogurt to share soon).

In the markets now, are beautiful, plump fava beans. They are a bit of a pain to shell, but it’s a mindless task and well worth the effort to uncover the glossy green gems. We had a simple fava bean side salad this week. I shelled a heap of fava beans and swore I wouldn’t do that again for a while. And then I ate the salad. And changed my mind.

P.s. I'm thrilled my great green salad photo won this month's aesthetics category in the "Does my blog look good in this" competition. Thanks so much judges, I really appreciate it!

Fresh fava bean salad

Fava beans, in pod
Olive oil
Champagne vinegar
1-2 chopped shallots
1 small wedge Pecorino Romano
1 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice plus zest of 1 lemon
~1 tsp crushed pink peppercorns
Good sea salt

To shell the favas, remove the beans from the pods and blanch them in salted boiling water for two minutes. Remove beans and plunge into an ice bath. When cool, remove the whitish outer covering of the beans by puncturing one end with your fingernail (or a knife) and gently squeezing the green bean out. It takes a bit of practice, but will go quickly once you get the hang out of it. Toss beans with a few splashes of olive oil, a few splashes of champagne vinegar, the chopped shallots, lemon juice and zest. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Shave Pecorino Romano on top. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Serve cold or at room temperature.


Pea and Pear said...

Yum, those beans look delicious!! What a gorgeous fresh salad, I will have to book mark it for summer :)

Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul said...

I hear the temps have been sky high in NYC this week. Fava beans are absolutely delicious and you have done a great job with this salad Sabra.

Congratulation on your award in DMBLGIT.

Anonymous said...

This salad sounds great and your photos are superb. Thanks for posting.

Amanda Mae said...

Wow, this looks wonderful! I've never had fava beans (sheltered, I know) but they look delicious and I can't wait to try this!

Cannelle Et Vanille said...

gorgeous colors... your photos have such an ethereal and clean look...

Anonymous said...

Beautiful beans! I love the photographs. The big flakes of cheese look just heavenly. This looks like the perfect summer dish. It is getting super hot, isn't it!?

Peabody said...

I adore fava beans...I have been looking at the markets and no such luck yet.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful and enticing photo of the fava beans. To help you keep your ice cream maker running, might I suggest a caramel ice cream with sea salt - the last week in June?!

Congrats on the award for your picture perfect salad.

chriesi said...

Sounds great!

Anonymous said...

I just did a post on Lima/Butterbeans too - I think yours has the edge on the SUmmer theme.

Beautiful shot too.

Anonymous said...

This looks incredible - so fresh and vibrant. I just love fava beans, and this salad seems like a great way to eat them - the focus really is on the bean. Glad I found your blog from tastespotting!

Anonymous said...

so beautiful and delicious! And also: you list the tsp of crushed peppercorns twice! Maybe that's for the best though. I heart pepper.

Sabra said...

Thanks guys.
Amanda Mae: I had never had fresh favas before this season! At least, I had never cooked them myself.
Joy: so hot - I have another cool dish coming up!
You are on Amy
I'll check out your post Graeme
Glad you found me Matt 0 hope you keep stopping by. I love tastespotting!
Danica: Great catch - I must have been dreaming about pepper. I fixed it - thanks!

Anonymous said...

lovely picture! i just found your blog and it looks like a great one. i'm going to take some time to have a look around. we just got some fava's and will post our recipe soon. they really are delicious.

Sandhya said...

Hi Sabra,
I'm here from Apartment Therapy's old archives. Good blog, i'm enjoying myself.
May i know if i can purchase a similar coffee mug and saucer somewhere? I lurve it.

Thanks in advance and good luck!

Sabra said...

Thanks "we are never full" : )
Sandhya: thanks for your interest. the mug is made by my father in law who is a potter. I can put you in touch with him if you email me - my email is in the sidebar.

Carolina deWitte said...

I just found your blog...while browsing flickr, and it's really beautiful. I love your ideas. I was disappointed, however, because the link to the spinach couscous salad seems to be broken. That sounds delicious, two of my favourite things. I am glad I found you, and will be back soon.

Sabra said...

Thanks for calling that to my attention, fibrolady. I think it's fixed now. So glad you found my blog. See you soon.

Carolina deWitte said...

Thanks for fixing the link. I will try that for dinner tomorrow night. A great loaf of bread and that salad, sounds like paradise. (I live in southern AZ where temps are in the 100s now, I NEED cool and easy recipes here. I love ones that I can eat poolside in the evenings)

Anonymous said...

I have a fond memory of a small restaurant in Paris over on the left bank and one of the meals on the menu was a simple plate of green beans. I tried the dish more out of curiosity than anything else and I was so impressed. On that dish alone, I returned to that restaurant several times to enjoy perfectly cooked beans, dressed lightly with butter and garlic, trimmed and served as a tied bundle on a white plate. Simplicity and taste combined into single entity.

After reading your post I added green beans to by shopping list and will be replicating that Paris moment tomorrow night.

Sabra said...

What a great memory. I love that idea. What were the beans tied with? Kitchen twine or a food item? The image you are painting is giving me photography inspiration! Glad I gave you bean inspiration!

Steve | Healthy Lunch said...

What an amazingly simple recipe. Great for a healthy lunch idea and perfect for vegetarians as well. I think this is going on my menu for next weekend picnic.

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