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!
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
Remove the beans from their pods.
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.
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.
Shave the asparagus lengthwise with a peeler.
In a small bowl, add the minced shallot, lemon juice, season with salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil until all combined.
Assemble the salad, add the arugula first, then add the fava beans, shaved asparagus.
Finish with the dressing and lemon zest. Season to taste.