Recipe: Fava Bean with Roasted Cauliflower and Beet Salad

by Tsai

Fava beans have been abundant at farmer’s markets in the last couple of weeks, and we were eager to try them out. The 4- to 10-inch long pods are not the prettiest things, and the beans themselves are a little bit grotesque in comparison to daintier spring and early summer legumes, but it’s hard to beat the sensation of biting into a fresh fava bean. Here’s a simple and tasty dish we came up with for last weekend’s OCH Art Market. 

Ingredients: fava beans, cauliflower, beets, parsley, lemon juice, minced garlic, cumin, salt and pepper

1. Remove fava beans from pods. Blanch for 2 minutes in salted water and place in ice water, and then drain. We decided not to remove the waxy skins of the beans for this recipe, convincing ourselves that the skins shouldn’t be discarded because we enjoyed the flavor and texture of the skins. When the fava beans were a little younger two weeks ago, we thought that the skins lent something extra to the dish. Last weekend, however, the skin-on favas were a bit tough for our tastes. For the full process, follow these instructions. 

2. Set oven on broil. Wrap whole beets in aluminum foil with the stems and ends removed. Remove cauliflower stem and cut florets into big big-sized pieces.

3. Roast the beets for 45 min to 1 hr. Use a knife to see if the beets are done — you should be able to insert the knife easily into the center of the largest beet.

4. Gently toss the cauliflower with vegetable oil and salt. Roast the cauliflower for 15-20 minutes, turning each of the pieces halfway through so that the cauliflower browns on two sides.

5. Once the beets have cooled, slip the skins of the beets off with your fingers, and cut the beets into thin coins.

6. Make a dressing by mixing together lemon juice, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper. Whisk in oil, and then combine the dressing with the shelled fava beans, chopped parsley, cauliflower and beets, at least half an hour before serving.