One more quick fava bean and pea recipe before their respective seasons sadly come to an end…then, on to something else.

I had a version of this salad way back, many years ago, at a [Slow Food] potluck when I was living in Chicago.  Love the concept of a potluck, particularly one hosted by Slow Food.  You’re in for a treat, as the vast majority of Slow Food participants take great pride in their dishes, some going so far as to forage for ingredients.

The version of this salad I fondly remember was comprised of nothing more than peas and fava beans, dressed with a miso vinaigrette.  I recall going back for seconds (maybe thirds).  At the time, I was just getting into the food[ie] scene, and using miso in dishes was a new concept for me.  Beyond enjoying miso soup at sushi restaurants, my exposure was limited.  Oh how I’ve come along way since then.

Have made many renditions of this salad over the years.  I vary it up with what’s in season or incorporating whatever happens to sound good at the moment.  For today’s version, purple potatoes, feta cheese, and pea shoots made an appearance.

A milder white or yellow miso works best for this dish.

Simple, seasonal, and satisfying.

I’ve said it before, but I always feel like I must add this disclaimer: fava beans are demanding. They need to be shelled, then peeled.  But once or twice a year, they’re totally worth the effort.

Once the fava beans are shelled, quickly blanch them and then plunge them into a bowl of ice water to help maintain their green color…then they need to be peeled.

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Pea and Fava Bean Salad with Miso Dressing

1 cup peeled and shelled fava beans
1 cup shelled green peas plus handful of green peas in their pods, trimmed and stringed
handful of pea shoots
5-6 small purple potatoes
feta cheese, cut into small cubes
miso dressing (recipe below)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fill a large bowl with ice water.  Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  Drop the peeled fava beans into the boiling water for two minutes.  With a slotted spoon, transfer the fava beans to the ice water bath.  Peel the fava beans.  Repeat with the peas (the shelled peas as well as the peas in their pods).  Boil for a minute or two, then plunge into the ice water bath.  Set aside.

Bring a pot of water to a boil.  Drop in the potatoes.  Simmer until the potatoes are fork tender.  Cut in half or quarter, depending on their size.

Mix the blanched fava beans, peas, pea shoots, potatoes, and feta in a bowl.  Mix with desired amount of miso dressing.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Miso Dressing

makes 1/2 cup
1 1/2 tablespoons white or yellow miso
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 small garlic clove, pounded with a bit of sea salt
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
freshly ground black pepper to taste
pinch cayenne (optional)

In a small bowl, add all the dressing ingredients.  Whisk until the miso is well incorporated.  Add a little more water if the dressing is too thick.

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One comment


wow, such a wonderfull salad!!!
lovin the way you infused the taste of japan within the dressing…..

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