I was browsing through a local grocery store when I saw them: a big basket full of bright green fava beans. This sight reminded me of spring, and along with it, the promise of renewal.
I came up with this dish to capture the energy, hope, and freshness that is spring. I enjoyed the crisp fennel, tender spinach, and juicy citrus fruits mixed with the hearty texture of the fava beans. Paired with a tangy citrus dressing, this salad is the perfect accompaniment to a freshly prepared sandwich, grilled fish, or a big bowl of soup with some toasted bread.
- 1 lb fresh fava beans, beans removed from the pod
- 2 handfuls of spinach leaves, washed and dried
- 1/4 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
- 1 large grapefruit
- 1 large navel orange
- A few sprigs of dill to garnish
- 1 tsp minced shallot
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a small pot. Once boiling, add in the shelled fava beans and boil for 1-2 minutes. Drain and cool the beans in a bowl of cold water. Peel off the waxy skins of the fava beans and reserve.
- Remove the segments from the orange and grapefruit and reserve. Give the remaining membrane a good squeeze to extract about 1 tbsp each of the grapefruit and orange juices.
- In a large bowl, mix together the citrus juices, salt, Dijon mustard, minced shallot, and slowly stream in the olive oil.
- Toss the spinach leaves, fennel, and fava beans in the dressing. Garnish with grapefruit, orange, and dill.
- Can't find fresh fava beans? Check if they're available frozen. English peas and edamame are good substitutes.