Fava Bean Salad

Beans, Beans... Fava, black, white, red, or soy beans, they are all good for you!

They provide minerals, soluble fiber, protein, and no saturated fat.

Pretty much every culture has their own bean dish.

From black beans served with meat and rice in South America, red baked beans on toast in the UK, to the famous French dish, Cassoulet made with pork, and white beans, every country has their bean signature dish.

Portugal is no exception. We eat a lot of beans, in stews, soups and as a side, we too are crazy for beans.

When I was growing up, I had the typical dishes like feijoada, with white or red beans, or vegetable soups made with kidney beans, but what I loved the most was when my mom made simple salads with beans.

The bite from a bean in a salad creates a different texture from what I was used in stews and soups.

In the warmer months, especially, my favorite thing to do is to add beans to my salad, not only do they add a great bite, but they help you feel fuller for longer.

My Fava Bean Salad is made with blanched fava beans, shaved asparagus, and drizzled with a light lemon & honey dressing. This bright and super easy salad is great for a quick side, appetizer, or meal!

Fava Bean Salad
Fava Beans
Fava Beans

Ingredients 

  • 3 lbs. fresh fava beans in pod

  • ½ cup thinly shaved cooked asparagus

  • A handful of small arugula

  • 1 small shallot, minced

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • 3 tablespoons of lemon juice

  • 2 teaspoons honey

  • 1 tablespoon of lemon zest

  • Sea salt & ground pepper

Recipe

  1. Remove the beans from their pods.

  2. Bring a large saucepan with water to boil. Add the beans to the boiling water, cook for about 2-3 minutes, just to really blanch them. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice water.

  3. Drain the beans, and add them to the ice water to stop cooking, then remove the skin layer from fava beans by carefully piercing the bean and squeezing it out of its skin. Discard the skins.

  4. Shave the asparagus lengthwise with a peeler.

  5. In a small bowl, add the minced shallot, lemon juice, season with salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil until all combined.

  6. Assemble the salad, add the arugula first, then add the fava beans, shaved asparagus.

  7. Finish with the dressing and lemon zest. Season to taste.

Beet & Citrus Salad


Ingredients 

  • 2 medium beets mixed variety , sliced (such as red, gold)

  • 4 oranges mixed variety (such as Cara-Cara, blood orange, or navel)

  • 2 radishes, sliced

  • Handful of fresh mint

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons of  red wine vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon of honey

Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 400º.

  2. Place the beets in the middle of a large foil. Drizzle with the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Wrap up each bundle to seal it. Roast until tender, 40 minutes to 1 hour (depending on the size of the beets). Peel the beets when they are cool enough to handle. Let cool completely.

  3. Using a sharp knife, peel and pith the oranges. Cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds; place in a bowl, cover and refrigerate.

  4. Slice the radishes.

  5. Once the beets are cooled, slice them into ¼-inch-thick rounds. Set aside.

  6. For the dressing, whisk the olive oil, red wine vinegar and honey together. Season to taste.

  7. To assemble, arrange the oranges, beets and radishes on a large platter. Drizzle the vinaigrette and top with the fresh mint leaves.

Fennel Citrus Salad

I am a HUGE salad fan. I eat salad every single day! Boring, I know. But to make it exciting and delicious, I use a variety of different ingredients. One of my favorite ways is to add fruit to my salads. I like having a nice crushing bite of an apple or a refreshing orange, and it completely elevates the entire dish.

In honor of citrus season, I decided to highlight the citrus and add ingredients that would compliment them. Fennel is a great ingredient that I feel is not used enough! The licorice flavor is definitely not for everyone, but when paired well, it helps pull the entire dish together.

I used a mandolin to slice the fennel, as it is very fibrous, so slicing them very thin is the best way to eat it. In addition, the salad is topped with chopped pistachios, fennel fronds and drizzled with a light vinaigrette!

This dish is perfect for serving alongside a steak or a frittata for breakfast!

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Ingredients 

  • 1 cara- cara oranges, peeled & sliced

  • 1 grapefruit, peeled & sliced

  • 2 blood orange, peeled & sliced

  • 1 large fennel bulb, peeled & sliced

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice

  • 1 tsp. honey

  • ¼ cup. crushed pistachios

  • 2 tbsp fennel fronds

  • Sea salt

Recipe

  1. Halve and core the fennel bulb. Chop the fronds and set aside. Using a mandoline, carefully slice the fennel into thin slices. Set aside.

  2. Using a paring knife, remove peel and white pith from citrus, being careful not to remove too much of the flesh. Slice citrus into ½"-thick rounds.

  3. For the vinaigrette, using a small bowl, whisk the olive oil,  lemon juice, and honey together.

  4. To assemble, plate the citrus and fennel on a platter. Scatter the chopped pistachios and fronds over the salad. Sprinkle with sea salt and drizzle the vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

Citrus and Avocado Salad

I live in an area where I am lucky to have four seasons. My least favorite of all of them  has to be winter, from the cold to the mountains of snowfall each year, there is nothing I like about winter, except for citrus season.

Interestingly enough, citrus is at its sweetest during the winter. As it may be obvious, these citrus fruits are grown in temperate regions, such as California, Florida and Texas. Luckily for us, we can pick them up at our grocery store and celebrate the citrus season as if they were grown in our own backyards!

The best way to use citrus fruits in your meals during this season is to make them the star of the show. So, for this recipe, I wanted to keep it simple and compliment the balance of the sweetness of the fruit by adding  salted pistachios and  making a vinaigrette with avocado oil and lime. 

 This salad is a perfect pairing with fish, such as a grilled salmon or a great side to brighten up a steak dinner.

My Portuguese Mother // Citrus and Avocado Salad
My Portuguese Mother :: Citrus and Avocado Salad.JPG
My Portuguese Mother // Citrus and Avocado Salad
 

Ingredients 

  • 2 cara- cara oranges, peeled & sliced

  • 1 grapefruit, peeled & sliced

  • 1 blood orange, peeled & sliced

  • 1 avocado, peeled & sliced

  • ¼ cup avocado oil

  • 3 tbsp. fresh lime juice

  • 1 tbsp. honey

  • 2 tbsp. crushed pistachios

Recipe

  1. Using a paring knife, remove peel and white pith from citrus, being careful not to remove too much of the flesh. Slice citrus into ½"-thick rounds. Cut the avocado into slices. Transfer to a medium serving platter.

  2. For the vinaigrette, using a small bowl, whisk avocado oil,  lime juice, and honey together. Drizzle over the salad.

  3. Scatter pistachios over the salad, finish with sea salt and ground pepper. Serve immediately.

Pasteis de Bacalhau (Cod fish fritters)

Pasteis de Bacalhau are one of the most popular foods in traditional portuguese cuisine. Pasteis de Bacalhau ( Cod Fritters), are usually eaten as a snack or an appetizer. they are made with salted cod, potato, onion and lots of parsley, and if that didn't convince you yet… its fried!

These very popular fritters are seen and sold in every cafe around portugal, and even the portuguese cafes in the united states!

While it might be easier to buy some, nothing beats homemade Pasteis de Bacalhau! They are very simple to make and i promise it's worth dealing with the smell of cod fish for a few days..

Pasteis de Bacalhau can be eaten as an accompaniment to a delicious plate of rice, like this one.

Pasteis de Bacalhau 1
Pasteis de Bacalhau 2
Pasteis de Bacalhau 3
Pasteis de Bacalhau 4
Pasteis de Bacalhau

Ingredients

  • 20 oz. (600 g) salted cod fish

  • 30 oz. (800 g) potatoes

  • 4 medium eggs, seperated

  • ¼ cup (100ml) olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 pinch nutmeg

  • ½ cup chopped parsley

  • salt & pepper

  • Vegetable Oil for frying

Recipe

  1. In a bowl, cover the salted cod with cold water, and let it soak for 2 days, changing the water every 8 hours (about 4/5 times)

  2. Boil the potatoes in water with salt for about 20/ 25 minutes, drain and mash them well.

  3. In another pot, boil the cod until tender. Drain, let it cool and flake as small as you can with your hands, making sure all skin and bones are removed.

  4. On a large saucepan, sauté the onions and garlic in a little olive oil, just to sweat the onions, add the flaked cod and let it simmer for about 5 minutes, mixing it occasionally.

  5. Then add the mashed potatoes, nutmeg, parsley and mix it well. Check seasoning, add pepper & salt if needed. Add the yolks one by one.

  6. Beat the egg whites and add them to the potatoes / cod mixture and mix it well.

  7. Pour the oil in a deep heavy skillet or pot and place it on high heat.

  8. Dip 2 tablespoons into oil and shape the pasteis using 2 spoons as if you were making quenelles (egg shape). The mixture will be quite soft. (At this point you can freeze them up to a month.)

  9. Add the pasteis one by one, turning them over until golden brown about 2/3 minutes

  10. When done, remove and place them on a plate with a paper towel to drain any excess of oil.

  11. Makes about 25/30 pasteis