Posted on | May 17, 2009 | 34 Comments |
We had one of those Seattle weekends, the perfect kind that makes us forget all about the lousy weather we’ve been having for the past few months. Unlike last weekend, this time I did way too much stuff that I am already looking forward to the next weekend to sleep this one off! In between all the fun I managed to go to Pike Place Market to grab some of the fresh summer bounty. I love going to Pike Place on weekends, especially on beautiful sunny weekends. Every single tourist that passes through Seattle has Pike Place Market on top of their itinerary and I love walking around the market watching the awestruck tourists trying to photograph every mundane detail. It’s the best way to spend a Saturday, at the end of it all that fun, you are somehow done with a major chore too. Yep, shopping is a major chore for me, if it doesn’t involve clothes or shoes.
I have been seeing fresh fava beans showing up everywhere in the food blog world lately, so that was the first thing I picked up. It is a lot of work to shell those suckers. Fava beans have to be shelled twice, first the outer pod and then then the tough white membrane that is covering the beans. Here is a step-by-step pictorial on how to shell Fava beans. After all that effort I wanted to make sure that I use them wisely, I didn’t want to over spice or over cook those, which I could’ve done with frozen pre-shelled beans without going through all this trouble. So I decided to make a salad, by throwing some fresh ingredients together. Fresh fennel is one of my favorite salad ingredients, it adds a tinge of unique spiciness and bite to otherwise boring salads. I had picked up a few Heirloom tomatoes and some fresh Basil to make my favorite Ensalada de Caprese, some of which came in handy for the dressing – a chunky Tomato Basil Vinaigrette. Along with some boiled eggs, this made a refreshing lunch perfect for a hot Sunday. Cooking sure is a breeze when you have a fridge full of fresh bounty!
Fennel, Fava Beans and Egg Salad with Tomato Basil Vinaigrette
(All measures are guesstimates, vary according to taste)
- 1 lb fresh fava beans in the pod
- 1/2 a fennel bulb
- 3 eggs, boiled and sliced.
- Salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Tomato Basil Vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup diced tomatoes
- 2 tbsp basil leaves, torn
- 2 cloves of garlic, diced
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
To make the vinaigrette, combine the garlic, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and whisk well till creamy. Combined with the tomatoes and basil and let rest in the refrigerator till the rest of the ingredients are ready.
Remove the fava beans from the outer pod. Place enough water to cover the beans in a pan, add a generous portion of salt and bring to a boil. Add the beans and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove the beans from the water and plunge in an ice water bowl to stop the cooking. Now remove the tough outer layer from the beans. ( Here is a step-by-step pictorial on how to shell Fava beans.)
Cut the leaves and stalks off from the fennel bulb, cut off the base and remove the tough outer layer (Save these for braises and stews). Cut the bulb in half, wash well to remove any dirt. Slice the bulb length wise to form thin strips.
Place the fennel and fava beans in a bowl and pour the tomato-basil vinaigrette over. Toss gently to combine, serve the salad topped with sliced eggs.
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