This fava bean salad is a sure sign that spring is here (at least it is in the valley). Fava beans are related to the pea family and just like peas they do require a little bit of work before you can enjoy them.
You can get fresh fava beans in the spring and dried fava beans area available year-round in most markets. Fresh fava beans need to be shelled twice.
The long pods have anywhere from 3-6 beans inside. To break the pod open, hold the pod in one hand and with your free hand pull from one of the ends. A string-like fiber will tear along the length of the pod and using both hands pull apart. The fava beans are attached to the pods and can be easily removed. The beans have a grey-like waxy cover that needs to be removed. This is the second part in shelling the fava beans.
Once all of the beans have been shelled from the long pods, they need to be blanched. Blanching is a cooking process where vegetables are plunged into boiling water for a short period of time, then removed, and plunged into a cool ice bath to stop cooking. In this case, the beans were cooked for about 45 seconds.
Once the beans are cool enough to handle, drain and shell them for a second time. Using your thumb and forefinger, pinch gently into the grey-like skin and squeeze the fava bean out. Discard the shell. The fava beans should have a bright green color and they would be soft and ready to eat. Fava beans are nutty and buttery and can be added to almost anything that calls for beans. They are definitely worth all of the prep work.
- 10-15 Fava beans (about 40 beans), shelled, blanched
- 4 oz Yellowtail tuna, season with salt and pepper, pan sear steak
- ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 sweet mini bell peppers, sliced
- 3 asparagus, roughly chopped
- 2 small potatoes, boiled, diced
- 4 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 orange, wedges and juice
- 1 Tablespoon Italian parsley, minced
- Using a medium sice pan, fill with water and bring to a boil. Shell fava beans, blanch in boiling water for approximately 30-45 seconds, stop cooking cool in ice bath. Once cool enough to handle, shell again and place beans in a bowl. Set aside.
- Using a paper towel, pad dry tuna and season both sides with salt and pepper. (A generous coat on each side). Using a small saute pan, heat until very hot, add 1 tablespoon olive oil, add tuna. Sear for about 3 minutes per side. Set aside and allow it to cool.
- In a small bowl, combine mini bell peppers, asparagus, potatoes, tomatoes, and orange wedges. Squeeze orange juice into bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add parsley and toss.
- Using a very sharp knife, cut tuna against the grain and arrange on platter, top with vegetables.