BRIAN IN THE KITCHEN  brought to you by Stittsworth Meats

April 22 2014

Spring Veggies - Fava Bean Salad with Roasted-Garlic Vinaigrette

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    1 head(s) garlic, 1/2 inch cut off top to reveal cloves
    1 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
    3 tablespoon(s) red-wine vinegar
    3/4 teaspoon(s) coarse salt
    1/4 teaspoon(s) red-pepper flakes
    3/4 cup(s) (2 ounces) walnuts, toasted and chopped
    Freshly ground pepper, to taste
    1 pound(s) shucked fresh fava beans, from 3 pound pods (3 1/2 cups)
    2 cup(s) fresh corn kernels, from 2 ears of corn
    1 medium cucumber, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
    1/2 cup(s) red onion, thinly sliced
    2 tablespoon(s) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
    2 ounce(s) feta cheese, crumbled

Make the vinaigrette: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drizzle garlic with 1 teaspoon oil. Wrap in parchment, then in foil. Bake until soft, about 30 minutes. Squeeze garlic from skins. Mash until smooth.
Whisk together the remaining ingredients with 1 tablespoon of the roasted garlic and remaining 2 teaspoons oil.
Make the salad: Prepare an ice-water bath. Cook beans in a large pot of boiling water for 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer beans to ice-water bath. Let cool completely, and remove with the slotted spoon. Cook corn in same pot for 1 minute, and drain in a colander. Peel thin shells off beans.
Toss cucumber, onion, parsley, feta, beans, and corn with the vinaigrette.

Note:  Fava beans are a broad green legume that grow in long pods and are popular in many Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines.

Fava beans are almost always removed from the pods before preparing them, although it is possible to braise whole fava bean pods.

Fava beans are notoriously time-consuming to prepare because of the shelling process. Removing fava beans from the pods is easy enough. But each individual fava bean also is enclosed in a shell. Removing the fava beans from their shells requires blanching them first.