Before I dive in to talk fava beans, I have to give a huge high five to Erin for the beet burger recipe! I have gotten so much good feedback on them, that I just had to mention it! I also added a link to the Beet Burger recipe posting, for Erin's column. Be sure to go back to the Beet Burger post from last week, to get the link for great cooking and lifestyle ideas.
Back to the favas. The other day my friend T (of ATM) invited me over to hang out for dinner and wine. I have been in the spirit of using my creativity and cook with ingredients in my pantry and fridge and freezer, so I surveyed the goods. I recently bought dried fava beans at PFI, in an attempt to try my hand at dried beans. In all the years of my home cooking, I have never cooked beans from dried. This was my chance to see what it is all about.
So on Thursday morning before work, I poured the beans into a glass bowl of water and covered them with plastic wrap. I have very limited experience with fava beans, so I broke the intimidation by leafing through my New American Table cookbook. He combines them with rice and spices, which gave me the idea to pull out the cooked quinoa I had in my freezer.
After a birthday party at work on Friday, where we made minestrone soup, there was leftover fresh parsley. The meal was coming together! I had fava beans, quinoa and parsley...and a leftover red pepper. A simple dressing with half of a lemon would compliment these ingredients. As in most of my recipes, there is room for change. You can soak and cook any type of bean. You can also use any leftover grain such as rice, couscous, or anything else. If you don't have any leftover grain, cook up whatever you would like. Use any vegetable and fresh herbs to color the dish.
So I ended up taking the below recipe over to T's where we also had Thai red curry vegetables and rice, with homemade toasted pumpkin seeds and wine...a pretty culturally diverse dinner plate!
Fava Bean Quinoa Salad
Makes about 3 cups of salad
1 cup fava beans, dried
2 cups cooked quinoa
1/2 red pepper, diced
3 Tbsp fresh parsley diced
Juice and zest of 1/2 of a lemon
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp cumin
A few dashes red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
2 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Soak the dried fava beans (or any type of bean) in medium sized bowl, covered with plastic wrap. Let soak at least 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse beans after soaking. Bring medium pot of water to a boil and add beans. Cook until beans are tender, about 30-40 minutes. Test tenderness with fork or by tasting a bean a few times toward end of cooking. Drain and toss with a little salt and pepper, and set aside.
Mix the quinoa, red pepper and parsley. Add fava beans. Make the dressing, by whisking all ingredients except olive oil. Slowing drizzle the olive oil into the dressing mixture and whisk until fully integrated. Pour dressing over quinoa and mix well, making sure to coat every ingredient evenly. Serve as a side dish at pot luck, or with a main dish for dinner.