Fava Bean Salad with Fresh Mint

April 29, 2008

Fava Bean Salad with Fresh Mint

2 pounds fava beans in their pods
2 sprigs fresh mint
2 cups salted water
2 ounces thinly sliced Serrano ham, prosciutto or Black
Forest ham

1 small head of romaine lettuce, cut into thin strips
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Peel the fava beans and discard the pods. Bring a pot of
water to a boil. Add the fava beans and simmer thirty
seconds. Remove the fava beans and cool. To peel them,
puncture the bright green skin with your fingernail and
pop the bean out of the shell. Discard the shells.

Remove the leaves from the mint sprigs, but reserve the
stems. Pile the leaves one on top of another and roll like
a cigar. Cut into very thin strips and reserve. With the
back of a knife, tap the mint stems several times to bring
out their flavor. Bring the salted water and the mint
stems to a boil. Add the fava beans and simmer until
tender, 3 minutes. Drain, discard the mint stems and
cool.

Cut the ham into thin strips. Combine the ham, lettuce,
strips of mint, and fava beans. Whisk together the
mustard, olive oil and vinegar. Season with salt and
pepper. Toss the vinaigrette with the fava bean mixture
and serve immediately.

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