Fava beans are another spring vegetable, normally appearing about the same time as asparagus and early peas.
While asparagus is prolific in the markets, fava beans (and peas) are less plentiful. They are both more of an old-fashioned vegetable and are typically grown in the local farm gardens for the family.
Both are also a bit of work to prepare.. not difficult, just time-consuming, especially the favas.
A friend was given a large quantity of freshly picked fava beans by a local friend of hers.
She decided to share the wealth.
Preparation instructions for the fava beans follow the recipe.
To go with the fresh fava beans I picked the first of the radishes and lettuce from my own potager and herbs from my herb garden – thus a Spring Salad.
Spring Salad with Fresh Fava Beans, Radishes and Lettuce
Total time: 10 minutes
- 1 cup peeled fava beans
- 1/2 cup radishes, sliced
- lettuce for 2 small salads, washed, spun dry and torn
- 2 tbs fresh oregano leaves, chopped if large
- 2 tbs fresh, chopped chives
- 2 tbs white balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp Dijon-style mustard
- 4 tbs salad olive oil
- Make Vinaigrette:
- Whisk mustard and vinegar.
- Slowly add olive oil, whisking constantly.
- Add a few tbs vinaigrette to the lettuce and toss well to coat.
- Divide and put on two plates.
- Combine the fava beans,radishes and herbs.
- Add a few tbs of vinaigrette and stir to combine.
- Spoon fava mixture on lettuce and serve, remaining dressing on the side.
Fava beans come in big pods, similar to peas, but much larger, thicker and fuzzy on the inside.
The first step is to break open the pods and take the beans out. Don’t bother with the really small ones.
The beans have a whitish outer shell. It’s edible, and if the beans are very fresh and not overly large it doesn’t need to be removed…. But it can be a bit tough and chewy.
I always peel them.
To peel them, blanch the beans in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and immediately put into very cold water. Break open the outer shell with a fingernail or just squeeze and the bright green bean will pop out. The beans may split – no problem.
For a salad they’re ready to use.
We used half the beans in the above salad the first night.
We had a bit of leftover salmon from Friday ‘Fish Hell Night’ so I made a salad plate for our starter for Saturday night with an avocado, cherry tomatoes and a Balsamic Vinaigrette (rather than the White Balsamic Vinaigrette I used in the recipe above).
The favas were a wonderful treat – even without the ‘nice Chianti’….