If you aren’t familiar with fava beans, sometimes known as broad beans, it’s high time you gave them a try. Favas are considered good luck in Italy and are credited with saving the Sicilians from starvation during a time of famine. They are among the world’s oldest cultivated plants and have long been a staple in Asia, the Middle East, South America, North Africa and Europe. Their buttery texture, nutty flavor and bright green color make them a delightful addition to this spring inspired salad.
Number of servings: 4
50g fresh peas (already shelled)
100g fava beans (already shelled)
1 small, iceberg lettuce, rinsed and dried
50g baby spinach, rinsed and dried
4 fat radishes, very finely sliced
1 spring onion, thinly sliced
6 leaves each of lemon balm and mint, torn
Small bunch chives, chopped
2 rashers (4 to 6 thin slices) streaky bacon, grilled, cooled and crumbled
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 ½ tablespoon white vinegar
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Plunge the fava beans and peas in lightly salted boiling water and cook for 4 or 5 minutes.
- Remove from pan, refresh with cold water and drain. (Remove outer shell and waxy inner coating that covers the bean if they are old or seem tough.)
- Chop lettuce into pieces, add the radishes, spring onion and herbs, then the peas and beans.
- To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the mustard, vinegar and olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Pour over the salad and mix well before dividing between four plates.
- Garnish with crumbled bacon.