Saturday, May 19, 2012

Fava Bean Salad with Honey Garlic Vinaigrette

Quite often I get a craving for the crunch and taste of really wonderful vegetables. With spring here, I am taking advantage of the abundance of fava beans at the farmers market and whole foods. I adore their bright green color and delicate flavors. Despite being a labor intensive process with their preparation, they are worth every minute of manual labor.

I ordered a Benriner Japanese Mandolin several months ago from One Kings Lane that were highly recommended by Alice Waters. If Alice says it is one of the best, I am not going to question her. While at the farmers market, I picked up the most amazing radishes and spring onions. Knowing that these would be perfect sliced incredibly thin, I dug up the newly purchased mandolin and extracted it from the box.

I adore the green color and the simplicity of use. After sifting through the instructions, I was off to slicing my market finds. It was nearing near lunchtime and my veggie craving was at the top of the charts. One of my childhood favorites are garbonzo beans or others may name them chickpeas. They are satisfying and heartily.

My salad was now being formed for a quick lunch. Now onto the dressing – I like a lighter dressing that is flavorful. I enjoy making dressings in a mason jar and with a simple few shakes, letting it sit for a bit, I now have a perfect dressing. This vinaigrette has now become a staple for me and I just vary the ingredients each time to mix it up.

Now is the time to enjoy the bounties that spring offers and I hope this salad cures any veggie craving you might have!

Spring Salad

2 C. Fava Beans, shelled*
1 Can, Garbonzo beans, rinsed
6 Radishes, thinly sliced
1 large spring onion, thinly sliced
Parmesan Cheese

Add the ingredients to a large bowl and dress with the amount you desire and toss. You can double the ingredients for the salad to serve four. This recipe is perfect for two.


½ shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 T. honey
1 t. Dijon mustard
3 T. Rice wine vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Pour and place all ingredients into a mason jar and shake well. Let the dressing sit at least one hour for flavors to develop.

*Fava Bean Preparation:

To shuck the beans, simply break off one end of the pod and use your thumb to pry it open. Pop the beans into a bowl and make a pile of pods. The easiest way to peel the beans is to parboil them first. To do so, bring a large stockpot filled with water to a rolling boil. Add the beans and let them cook until they turn bright green. About one minute. Then remove the pan from the stove and drain the beans into a colander. Run the beans under cold water for a minute or so to stop them from cooking any further.

Next, you need to remove the skin surrounding each bean. Use a knife or your fingernail to make a slit in the seam at one end of the bean and then squeeze the bean out. It should pop right out of the skin. Once you've peeled the beans, they are ready to use in any recipe.


  1. Lisa, once again I want to take a bite out of your photos. That salad is perfect - I love favas and radish together. (And your mandolin is really rocking for you!)
    We have a fava forest in our backyard.When they are ripe, I need to make your salad!
    Enjoy this beautiful day,

  2. What a lovely salad...perfect ode to spring!
    Hope your weekend is going well :)

  3. What a beautiful salad, and your vinaigrette sounds perfect. Have a great rest of your weekend, Lisa!

  4. I didn't realize (just never really put any thought on it) that fava bean shells look so much like regular pea shells! Hmmm...this vinaigrette is calling out my name!

  5. The only thing I can think of is that it is beautiful. It inspires me to prepare and eat spring veggies. I love it!

  6. I just happen to have all these ingredients - radishes and fava beans from our garden and (dried) chickpeas that I "quick soaked" yesterday! Love all the flavors in this fresh, colorful salad and vinaigrette :)

  7. def looks like a yummy meal!!

  8. What a lovely salad and I like how you used radish in the salad - so pretty!!! I'm always attracted to a vinaigrette that has Dijon mustard in it. Looks delish!

    P.S. I have a very similar mandoline slicer I brought back from Japan (my mom's) and I was surprised at the price... I think it's much cheaper in Japan, like less than $10...hmm...

  9. What a pretty salad, so full of yummy veggies! I am all over that vinaigrette though, they are one of my favorite things to make and try on different things!

  10. What a beautiful salad, Lisa. The colors and textures are just so perfect together. The buttery favas and peppery radishes are great together. Yum!

  11. A perfect salad, Lisa! The honey garlic dressing sounds amazing over the fresh and colorful veggies. I just love this time of year :)


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