Fava Bean and Sweet Corn Salad with Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette

Early summer vegetables meet frozen sweet corn!  This recipe worked perfectly with the Tantre Farm share last week, combining garlic, fava beans, a cucumber, red onion and parsley from the share with locally grown frozen sweet corn we still had in the freezer.  You can, of course, use the kernels off of 2-4 ears of fresh corn.

Fava beans, also known as broad beans, are among the most ancient of cultivated plants from the Mediterranean area.  It takes a bit of work to enjoy fava beans, as first you must shell or shuck the big, somewhat ugly pods to get the beans.  Next the beans themselves have a skin on them that you should remove.  The bean skins come off easily after a 1 or 2 min blanch in boiling water.  The Tantre folks describe the fava bean taste as buttery texture, slight bitterness sometimes, but nutty flavor, definitely worth the effort of shelling and peeling.

Fava beans from Tantre Organic Farm

This recipe for fava bean and sweet corn salad was adapted from MarthaStewart.com.  The roasted garlic vinaigrette works nicely with other salads too.

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1 head garlic, 1/2 inch cut off top to reveal cloves
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

To make the vinaigrette, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drizzle garlic head with a little olive oil. Wrap in foil. Bake until soft, about 30 minutes. Squeeze garlic from skins. Mash until smooth.  Whisk together the remaining vinaigrette ingredients with the mashed roasted garlic.

For the salad you need:

  • Big bunch of fresh fava bean pods; once shucked the pods should yield about 1 lb of beans or 3 ½-4 cups
  • 15 oz frozen sweet corn, fully thawed and drained
  • 1 medium cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced (1/2 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

For the salad, first prepare an ice-water bath. Cook fava 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. Peel the thin shells off of the fava beans.  As mentioned above, this task can take awhile, but it’s worth it to get the bright green favas freed from their skins.  I got Chef Jeff to do it while he was watching a soccer match.

Combine sliced cucumber, onion, parsley, feta cheese, beans, and corn, then mix in the vinaigrette.

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