Avocado, Fava Bean and Quinoa Salad

by angelika on June 4, 2012

Grain salads offer a nice change to the every day green salad; I actually prefer quinoa cold or room temperature. I just adore how this grain soaks up flavors while still holding its texture. Since quinoa packs such a substantial protein punch, it makes an ideal lunch or light supper.  Combine the quinoa with fava beans, even more protein, avocado for creaminess (and good fats which help you feel full), and radishes and microgreens for micronutrients. You have the most delicious lunch you never knew was this good for you! The dressing is a smoky toasted cumin and lemon juice dressing, which really helps the freshness of the vegetables shine. The lemon also helps the avocado keep, so this salad is just as good the next day and no brown mushy avocados in sight.

Avocado and Fava Bean Quinoa Salad
adapted from Plenty by Ottolenghi

1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2-3 cups fresh fava beans (4 lbs fresh favas)
3 lemons
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon cumin powder, (preferably from 3 tablespoons cumin seeds)
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 bunch radishes, quartered
2 ripe avocados, large cubes
2 ounces of micro greens (1 package)

Rinse the quinoa in a strainer under running water to remove the bitter outer coating. Transfer the quinoa to a dry pan on medium heat. Toast the quinoa until the water evaporates, stirring constantly. When the quinoa is dry again, add two cups water and bring to a boil. Usually I would tell you to add a nice pinch of salt, but in this case the dressing is the only flavor I want to impart on the quinoa. Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Test at 10 minutes to see if it is done. Fluff with a fork and set aside.

Go to work on the fava beans while the quinoa is cooking. Favas are a lot of work, but the buttery flavor and huge protein punch make them totally worth it. Especially if you enlist the help of others. I highly recommend child labor! Q loves to shuck the beans; this week we have my mother in law in town and she  was easily bribed with wine and conversation.

Remove all the beans from their little soft pillow like beds and transfer them to a bot of boiling water. (all at once) Boil for 3-4 minutes depending on how big the beans are. Remove to a colander and run cold water over them until they are cool enough to touch. Then prick the skin with your nail and remove the bright green bean.

I really prefer fresh ground cumin powder, it tastes a lot different that pre ground powder. It also allows you to toast the seeds first to release the oils. If you don’t have cumin seeds, absolutely use the powder. But think about putting cumin seeds on your shopping list for next time. Toast the seeds for about 4 minutes in a dry pan, then transfer to a spice grinder and grind to a powder.

Juice half a lemon and set that juice aside in a bowl. Pit the avocado and take a spoon to remove the avocado from the skin, keeping in it tact. Cut each side in half down the center, then cut into thick chunks. Place all the slices in the bowl with the lemon juice and make sure they are well coated. I find it easiest to use my hands.

Juice the remaining two lemons into a measuring cup or small bowl. Save the extra half, I used it but you’ll want to taste first. Add the olive oil, chili flakes and cumin powder. Then the salt and pepper. You can add more or less salt depending on taste. Whisk well and taste. I thought mine needed more acid, so I added the juice of the last half of lemon.

Remove the quinoa to a large bowl and stir half of the dressing on to it. The key is to dress the quinoa while it is warm, it will absorb a lot of the flavor. Let the quinoa cool a bit with the dressing. Quarter the radishes. Once the quinoa is pretty cool- about 10 minutes- add the avocado and radishes and all but 1/4 cup of the micro greens. I love micro greens as they pack a real punch for such a little plant, both in flavor and nutrition. Pick a green that you like. If you don’t like kale, you probably won’t like kale micro greens. We used a combo of red cabbage and radish micros. Pour the rest of the dressing on top, and mix carefully. You don’t want to break the avocados. Garnish with the remaining mico greens and a dusting of fleur de sel.
Avocado, Fava Bean and Quinoa Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
~adapted from Plenty by Ottolenghi~
Author:
Recipe type: entree, salad
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2-3 cups fresh fava beans (4 lbs fresh favas)
  • 3 lemons
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder, (preferably from 3 tablespoons cumin seeds)
  • ¼ teaspoon chili flakes
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 bunch radishes, quartered
  • 2 ripe avocados, large cubes
  • 2 ounces of micro greens (1 package)
Instructions
  1. Rinse the quinoa in a strainer under running water to remove the bitter outer coating.
  2. Transfer the quinoa to a dry pan on medium heat. Toast the quinoa until the water evaporates, stirring constantly. When the quinoa is dry again, add two cups water and bring to a boil.
  3. Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Test at 10 minutes to see if it is done. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
  4. Prepare the fava beans-Remove all the beans from their little soft pillow like beds and transfer them to a bot of boiling water. (all at once) Boil for 3-4 minutes depending on how big the beans are. Remove to a colander and run cold water over them until they are cool enough to touch. Then prick the skin with your nail and remove the bright green bean.
  5. Toast the cumin seeds for about 4 minutes in a dry pan, then transfer to a spice grinder and grind to a powder.
  6. Juice half a lemon and set that juice aside in a bowl. Pit the avocado and take a spoon to remove the avocado from the skin, keeping in it tact. Cut each side in half down the center, then cut into thick chunks. Place all the slices in the bowl with the lemon juice and make sure they are well coated. I find it easiest to use my hands.
  7. Juice the remaining two lemons into a measuring cup or small bowl. Save the extra half, I used it but you’ll want to taste first. Add the olive oil, chili flakes and cumin powder. Then the salt and pepper. You can add more or less salt depending on taste. Whisk well and taste. I thought mine needed more acid, so I added the juice of the last half of lemon.
  8. Remove the quinoa to a large bowl and stir half of the dressing on to it. The key is to dress the quinoa while it is warm, it will absorb a lot of the flavor.
  9. Quarter the radishes. Once the quinoa is pretty cool- about 10 minutes- add the avocado, fava beans and radishes, and all but ¼ cup of the micro greens.
  10. Pour the rest of the dressing on top, and mix carefully. You don’t want to break the avocados. Garnish with the remaining mico greens and a dusting of fleur de sel.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Grandma Wendy June 4, 2012 at 10:40 pm

This comment has been removed by the author.

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Grandma Wendy June 4, 2012 at 10:41 pm

Mom's hands made the blog!!! Can't wait to try this. I made myself goat cheese and roasted grape pizza for dinner last night. YUM>

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marthastoever June 6, 2012 at 1:49 am

i've been in search of a delicious recipe featuring fava beans… think i've found it!

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Ally June 6, 2012 at 5:21 pm

This looks like the perfect summer salad!
xo
http://allykayler.blogspot.com/

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Angelika June 13, 2012 at 3:13 am

yay, I am glad you liked it!

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Angelika June 13, 2012 at 3:14 am

If you search my blog you will find I have a small obsession with fava beans. While I love this salad, I have to say the fava bean burger is my favorite. :)

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