Recipe courtesy of Williams-Sonoma. Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, “Classic Pasta at Home”, by Janet Fletcher (Time-Life Books, 1998).
Tender spring fava beans are prized in southern Italy, where they are ofen eaten raw with pecorino cheese. Here, this pleasing pairing is turned into a delicate salad with the addition of leaf lettuce, olive oil and lemon juice.
- 4 pounds fava beans
- 2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced green onion, including tender green portions
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Fresh lemon juice, to taste
- 8 to 12 soft lettuce leaves, preferably red
- 2 ounces young pecorino cheese, such as Toscanello or Manchego
- 1 Shell the fava beans. Have ready a bowl of ice water. Bring a pot three-fourths full of water to a boil over high heat. Add the fava beans and boil for 2 minutes, then drain. Transfer to the bowl of ice water to stop the cooking, then drain. Peel by pinching one end of each bean; it will slip easily from the skin.
- 2 In a bowl, mix together the fava beans, olive oil, to taste, and green onion. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Tear the lettuce into bite-size pieces and add to the bowl. Toss gently.
- 3 Using a vegetable peeler, shave the cheese into paper-thin slices directly into the bowl. Toss gently. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Transfer to a serving platter.
- 4 Serves 4.