If you took one look at the title of this recipe and thought, yes please!, then we must be related. When I made this salad, I felt as if I had died and gone to salad heaven. The funny thing is, this salad was born from frustration. Mr. Fabulous brought home the groceries from his store, and while he absolutely remembered I wanted fava beans, he seemed to underestimate how many you need to make anything substantial. Once you shell them, there isn’t much left! I only came out with about a cup- so I figured I would make a salad with the favas sprinkled in. Then the snap peas were staring at me like, you eat them and not us? So they came along too. I had a beautiful shallot, and I thought… browned butter as a dressing? I wonder if that works? It sure does! Holy deliciousness. If I wasn’t a veg I would think pancetta would be delicious in this salad. ( I didn’t really just say that) But since I am, I think the earthy brown butter gives a lot of the same notes, and no pigs were harmed. (and the butter came from a local dairy, and those cows look very happy) For some salty punch, a really high quality raw parmesan was shaved on top.
Fava Bean, Fresh Pea, and Arugula Salad
1 cup shelled fava beans (about 1lb in pod)
2 cups fresh peas (1-2 lbs in pod)
16 ounces +/- baby arugula
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup minced shallot
2 cloves garlic, minced
sprig of thyme
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
shaved parmesan to serve
Boil salted water, and drop the fava beans in for 2 minutes. Remove to a colander and run very cold water over them until they are cool enough to touch. Poke the skin with your fingernail, then squeeze the bean out. Or however you feel like going about it. Getting the blanched beans ready to eat is the tedious part, but I do believe you will think them worth the effort when you are done!
Shell your peas; we used snap peas and child labor. The kids loved the process, and since I was handling the favas it was only fair that someone else pitch in. Right? Set both the peas and favas aside.
In a heavy saucepan or skillet heat the butter on medium until it foams, then turns a toasty brown with a nutty aroma. This takes 3-4 minutes. Be careful not to burn the butter!
Add the shallots and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and let it go another minute. Remove the butter and shallots/garlic to a mini food processor. (If you don’t have one you can just whisk in the vinegar, oil and spices. It will still be delicious, just chunky.) Whiz it up with the vinegar, and add in the thyme. Taste at this point. If it tasted too acidic or seems too thick add the olive oil and whiz some more. Add the salt and pepper and set aside.
In the saucepan where you cooked the brown butter and shallots, add the favas and peas to this pan on low heat for 2 minutes, just to warm up the peas and impart a little lovely flavor. There will still be bits of shallot and garlic left in there, since you can’t get it all out no matter how hard you try. Place the peas/beans in a bowl and stir a tablespoon of the dressing into them. Set aside.
On a serving plate lay a bed of baby arugula. I prefer the smaller leaves of baby arugula. I think it tastes a lot lighter, and it’s easier to eat. I save the full grown arugula for cooked dishes. Pour the favas and peas over top. Add a drizzle of dressing down the dish, and top with fresh savings of parmesan. (and a pinch of fleur de sel, if you are me)
A votre santé!
Fava Bean, Pea, and Arugula Salad w/ Shallot Brown Butter Vinaigrette
- 1 cup shelled fava beans (about 1lb in pod)
- 2 cups fresh peas (1-2 lbs in pod)
- 16 ounces +/- baby arugula
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup minced shallot
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- sprig of thyme
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper
- shaved parmesan to serve