Saturday, June 27, 2009

Give Fava Beans a Chance

With a cup of coffee in hand, I did some searching this morning for a new recipe to try out for dinner. I went through the list of all my favorite food sites and read through the latest postings. It's been such a busy time at work, I honestly don't remember what I made for dinner this week for Jeremy and myself. I do remember going out for sushi not once, but twice.

The recipe that caught my eye the most is Simply Recipe's Spring Fava Bean Fennel Salad. I tend to use a lot of chickpeas in salads, but fava beans or broad green beans are nice alternative because of its robust flavour. And they are highly nutritious- full of phosphorous, vitamin A and C and a good source of dietary protein.

While this is a new recipe, it is similar to another one of my favorites- Tarragon Green and Butter Beans. It's funny what creatures of habit most of us are, including myself. I know what I like and I stick to it. And while fava beans aren't high on most people's lists, I enjoy them. So, I encourage you to try something a little different, and give fava beans a chance. This is good side salad for dinner, and any leftovers there may be will make a great little lunch or afternoon snack.

Parmesan cheese adds a great flavour kick to this salad. Try using a vegetable peeler to add thin shavings of cheese into the salad and to garish the top.

Spring Fava Bean Fennel Salad (serves 4)
adapted from Simply Recipes

1 can (14 oz or 398 ml) of fava beans (also called broad beans)
1 small bulb fennel, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, thinly sliced
10 fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced
2 green onions, diced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
pepper to taste

Drain and rinse the fava beans. Add thinly sliced fennel, green onion, lemon juice and mint.

Drizzle extra virgin olive oil and add Parmesan cheese and fresh black pepper. Mix together.

Garnish with fennel fronds and/or mint sprigs.

I enjoed this salad with lemon and thyme chicken kabobs and couscous.

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