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.