This recipe comes to us from our friends at Cooking Vacations Italy and takes advantage of the spring harvest including fava beans, lemon balm, mint, chives, radishes, spinach, lettuce and peas.
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.