Here's a simple summery salad of fava beans (also known as broad beans) with quinoa, goat's cheese, mint and lemon.Fava beans are a delicacy of late Spring/early Summer; a beautiful vegetable-like legume with a delicate flavour and pleasant bite. I like them served simply in a salad or dip. They don't need a lot of fuss.
The only downside of fava beans is that they can be a little slow to prepare. They require double shelling. First you need to shuck them before cooking. After that, you'll need to pop them out of their thin inner peel. It might not be a job for a Tuesday evening after work but there is something pretty satisfying and even relaxing in shelling fava beans for lunch on, say, a Saturday morning at an outside table in the sun. Makes me feel all green goddess-like ;-) If you have kids, you might even get them involved.
This should serve 4 as a side or 2 for lunch.
Roughly 1 kg / 2 pounds of fava beans or broad beans (unshelled weight)
80g / 3 ounces of crumbled goat's cheese
270g / 2 cups of cooled, cooked quinoa (this equates to 90g or ½ cup of uncooked quinoa. If you're not already a quinoa expert, cooking instructions here!)
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon of fine grain sea salt
Juice of half a lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Fresh mint (about 5-6 leaves), chopped
Remove the fava beans from their pods and simmer in salted water for one minute. Drain and immediately plunge the beans into iced water to preserve their colour. Allow them to cool completely before peeling off the pale green skin. Underneath, the fava beans should be a vibrant green. Try not to pop too many in your mouth at this stage. (Oh, is that just me?)
Stir the beans into the cool quinoa and crumble in the goat cheese. Make the dressing by whisking together the garlic, salt, lemon and olive oil. Add to the salad gradually, stirring well but gently to incorporate it - you may use as little as half of the dressing, depending on how pungent you like it.