I think the obvious thing to do here is reference Silence of the Lambs…but I’ll refrain. The hubs did enough of that for me This salad is absolutely perfect right now. All of these veggies are in season (at least in the Pacific Northwest) so try it while you can! If you can’t find fava beans, you could also use dragon’s tongue beans or edamame. Fava beans can be a bit time consuming to prepare, so I’m giving you fair warning. But there is something really gratifying in the slow preparation of food. We get so used to fast food and instant gratification, that we lose touch with where food comes from and what it takes to prepare it. Why are we always in such a hurry? I do understand that preparing every meal from scratch is unrealistic for most people most of the time, but if you can get family or friends involved, an act like shelling fava beans will go a whole lot quicker! I also know that kids tend to eat more fruits and veggies when they can be involved in the growing and cooking process, so put those little boogers to work!
Something interesting about fava beans is that they are rich in L-dopa, which is a chemical used in treating Parkinson’s Disease. L-dopa may also help in reducing blood pressure.
About 3 lbs fresh fava beans
3-4 cloves of garlic
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
3 tbsp olive oil (plus more for drizzling)
1 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
Sea salt and pepper to season
About 2 large handfuls of pea shoots
To prepare the fava beans, first you’ll need to remove the beans from the pods. I like to sit and watch a little Rachel Maddow while I’m doing this. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Set up an ice bath nearby to place the beans into after they’ve been boiled. Once the water is boiling, add the fava beans and boil for about 2 minutes. Immediately strain and add them to the ice bath. You’ll need to do one more step before the fava beans are ready to go! Each bean is encased in a thin membrane, so you’ll need to carefully remove them…one by one. Again, this is a bit time consuming, but check out some Bad Lip Reading videos while you’re at it. I like the one of Ron Paul in particular. Once the beans are removed from their membrane they should be a vibrant green color. Ok, now we’re ready!
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallots and saute until soft.
Increase the heat to med-high and add in the fava beans and tarragon. Toss to coat with the oil in the pan and cook for about 5 minutes. You’ll want the beans to char if possible (or at least brown) a bit so once you’ve tossed them in the oil, don’t stir them around. This is going to give them a slightly smokey flavor.
Place the fava beans from the saute pan into a large bowl and return the pan to the stove. Add in 1 more tbsp of olive oil (if you need to) and the radishes. Cook for a couple of minutes, until they are slightly soft but still crunchy. Throw the radishes into the bowl with the fava beans. Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Add the pea shoots and drizzle with a little bit more olive oil. Toss once more.