Although I always keep lots of dried fava beans on hand for making falafel, I rarely buy them fresh, simply because they usually aren’t available at Whole Foods. However, this past weekend, I spotted a ton of these dull green pods, so I scooped up plenty of them. Once I brought them home, I broke open their double layer of tough outer husks to reveal the small and vibrant green-colored beans inside. I gave them a quick boil and saute in Earth Balance and garlic, then combined them into a salad with tons of fresh mint, red quinoa and raw cashews. Everything tasted amazingly crisp and clean and summery together here, and was a great way to use the fava beans in a new way. Top with a little squirt of olive oil at the end when serving to add another layer of richness and complexity to this gorgeous and satisfying salad.Print
- 1 cup red quinoa
- 1 1/2 cups water
- fresh fava beans, any amount
- 1 TB Earth Balance
- 4–5 cloves of garlic, minced
- One small red onion, minced
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup fresh mint, packed and chopped chiffonade
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- olive oil, for serving
- Place the quinoa into a fine-meshed sieve and rinse it very well for several minutes. Heat an empty medium-sized saucepan over medium heat for a minute or two. Add in the quinoa and toast until all the water has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Now add the water to the pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Place a lid over the pot and reduce the heat to its lowest setting to simmer for about 15 minutes. Do not remove the lid during this time.
- After 15 minutes, remove the quinoa from the heat and let it sit for 5-7 minutes, covered. Then remove the lid and fluff with a fork. Set aside to cool.
- To prepare the fava beans, remove the tough outer husks and discard. Them pierce the light-green skin covering each bean with a knife to reveal the small, bright green fava bean inside.
- Bring a small pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Throw in the fava beans and boil them for about three minutes. Drain and rinse the beans off in very cold water. Set aside.
- Next, give them a quick saute in the Earth Balance and garlic, about a minute or so, just until the garlic is softened. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- I love raw onions, so kept them that way in this salad, but if you want to saute them to make them milder, give them a saute in the same pan before assembling the salad.
- In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, fava beans and garlic, red onion and fresh mint. Serve with a little olive oil drizzled over the top.