Thursday, June 1, 2017

Fresh fava bean salad with tomato and mozzarella balls

Another spring vegetable that has a short season is fava beans. It is a three step process before they are edible but worth it. Paired with cherry tomatoes and  bocconcini (mozzarella balls) they make for a great spring salad. The beans have a buttery texture, slight bitterness and lovely, nutty flavor. The tomatoes are slightly tart and sweet and the mozzarella balls just melt in your mouth. A handful of crisp greens and a lemony herb dressing brings this beautiful salad together.

Fava Bean salad with cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella

1 1/2 cups peeled fava beans (You will need 2 lbs beans in the pod)
7 baby mozzarella balls, cut in half
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 cups salad greens (I used baby spinach)

Dressing
1 small clove fresh garlic, peeled and grated
2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (I like California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil)
1/8 teaspoons dried red chili flakes
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano leaves or a pinch of dried oregano leaves
  1. Bring a huge pot of salty water to a boil. How salty? It should taste like the sea. In the meantime get an ice water bath ready. Add the shelled fava beans to the boiling water. Let them boil for a minute or two. You will know they are ready when they are all floating in the top of the water.
  2. Plunge them into the ice water to stop the cooking. Now look for the reverse: When all the favas have sunk to the bottom, pinch them out of the jackets.  
  3. Add the cooked fava beans to the salad bowl with the cherry tomatoes, and mozzarella balls. 
  4. Whisk all the ingredients for the dressing and pour half of it on the fava, tomato and mozzarella mixture. Let it marinate for 30 minutes. Then add the baby spinach leaves and add the rest of the dressing. Toss and serve immediately.
Serves 3

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