July 27, 2010

Fava Bean Salad (with instructions on how to remove fava beans)

I love the fava bean. I was introduced to it last summer when they came in my CSA share from SunGold Farms. The taste of a fava bean is a cross between a pea and a lima bean, soft, tender and delicious. They are a great addition to any salad or soup.

How to remove fava beans from their shells
Open the pod the beans come in and remove the beans.  There will be about 5-6 beans in a pod.  Place the beans inside in boiling water for about a minute.  Remove the beans and place in an ice water bath. The outer skins on the beans will now need to be removed.  They should be loose from boiling the beans.  Make a slight tear with your finger and remove the bean, it will be bright green and ready to use.

I based the recipe for this salad from a recipe I found online and on a salad my husband makes from Argentina, tomato and onion salad tossed with an oil and vinegar dressing.

Fava Bean Salad

20-30 pods of fresh fava beans
2 medium fresh tomatoes, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 cucumber, diced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vinegar
parsley to taste
Italian seasoning to taste
salt and pepper to taste

1. Prepare fava beans. Prepare boiling water and cold icy water for blanching. Wash and shell the beans, remove from pod, there are usually 5-6 per pod. Put beans in boiling water . Boil 2-3 minutes or until the beans float to the top. Immediately put beans in cold water. Let the beans cool. Remove outer shell of bean by squeezing bean or tearing outer shell away.

2. Prepare rest of ingredients and mix rest of vegetables, combine with fava beans.

3. Add olive oil and vinegar generously covering the salad. If too vinegary add more oil, visa versa.

4. Add seasonings to taste. Chill for 1 hour or serve immediately.

*Fava beans are a lot of work the first time, but trust me they get easier once you know what you are doing. If you do not have fresh fava beans you can leave them out or get a drained can of fava beans.

*Fava beans must be cooked otherwise you can develop favism if you happen to have Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, which is pretty rare, but just in case. I learned this the hard way by eating one raw and then checking online to see if you could do it. I did not come down with favism.

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