Minted Pea & Fava Bean Salad

by Julie on July 1, 2012

She’s alive, she’s alive!  I didn’t disappear for good, just been buried deep beneath my textbooks, highlighters and 3 hole punched note pads with assignments comin’ out the ying yang!  Only 3 weeks to go, yeehaaa!  Phew….. I can’t believe it’s been 10 months since I began my studies in Holistic Nutrition.  I had high hopes of blogging bi-weekly but unfortunately between being a mom and commuting to the island each weekend after a full week of lectures it proved to be too much.  I know you’ve missed my posts but I know you forgive me yet I wish I could have been more present for you.  However, the end is near, yaaaay…. and as much as I have enjoyed the educational journey and all my new friends, I will be glad to end this nomadic life of packing and traveling every weekend to just stay put in one place for a while.  Of course that will make it also possible to get back to posting some yummy recipes for the second half of the summer.

So here you have it, a yummy recipe to kick off summer!  Here’s hoping that this fresh cheery recipe will invite the sunshine to peek thru the clouds for us on the west coast of Canada!  As wet as the weather has been with very little sunshine, it’s amazing how many wonderful things are still available for us at the market.  My produce for this recipe is from a local green house with the radishes grown outside where pesticides are not used, thank goodness. This recipe was inspired by a recent visit to a lovely restaurant called Ulla here in Victoria B.C.  The chef astounded me with his delicious pea and mint soup and I then followed it up with a fava bean salad that was sooo delicious that I went home and concocted my own version of it.  That’s the wonderful thing about dining out–being inspired by what other chefs are playing with!   The ancient grain, farro accompanied his version whereas my version is solely with vegetables and greens.

But I’ve gotta tell ya….again…. I have been utterly addicted to this recipe.   I’ve made it at least 5 times now since I was there, I may be turning green like Shrek soon!  This seems to happen to me when I really like something, I can’t seem to get enough!  I’ve also shared it with my classmates and got the nod of approval as usual.  All us nutrition students are often concocting yummy lunches that we share samples of since we can never get enough of delicious healthy food ideas.

If you haven’t had the pleasure of dining on fava beans then you are in for a real treat.  They have a buttery texture with a flavour rather shared between a pea and a bean. Fava beans are a bit of a treasure to enjoy since first you need to find them, they aren’t around long and usually only select grocers will carry them.  Or maybe you’ll be lucky and find some before they sell out at the farmers market.  I haven’t resorted to the frozen myself as I seem to just want to wait and anticipate the fava season and enjoy them in their prime.  Then you need to shell, blanch and peel the seed skins to reveal the inner bean.  It’s a bit of a chore but it is sooo worth it!  I hope you can also find some gorgeous fresh shelling peas to use. These are sooo juicy and sweet.  However, you can substitute organic frozen peas and just blanch them for a minute or two.

Here you can see the stages of the pod, the seeds within and then the blanched wrinkled seeds and a few that I have peeled.  You have to resist the temptation to just nibble on them after peeling though!  I served this to a dear friend last week, Kathleen, and she kindly lent me an interesting book called Survial of the Sickest that explained the warning below. Thank you Kathleen!

Warning: As yummy as fava beans are though, they have been known to cause rare but severe responses for those folks that have an enzyme deficiency of G6PD, a condition called favism, that modern science has labeled as the most common enzyme deficiency in the world. It is most common and most deadly in North Africa and Southern Europe, all around the Mediterranean.  G6PD is responsible for clearing out free radicals like hydrogen peroxide caused by digestion of vicine and convicine from within the fava bean itself. The inability to deal with these free radicals can result in hemolytic anemia, a severe emergency and potentially deadly situation.  It is highly recommended to avoid serving fava beans to children to be safe. This article shares a little more about the symptoms to watch for should anyone not be aware that they indeed have favism and they ingest these tasty beans.

If you can find some pretty radishes this just makes the dish so much prettier and adds another dimension to the salad.

Minted Pea & Fava Bean Salad
Yield: 4 salads

2 cups fava beans, shelled, *blanched & peeled (also known as broad beans)
1 cup + 1/2 cup peas, shelled & *blanched
3 cups greens, chopped small
1/2 cup sprouts
2 radishes, thinly sliced
1/2 sm onion, minced
16 fresh mint leaves
1 tbsp + 1/4 cup olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
2 drop stevia
himalayan salt
*Blanch fava beans for 3 mins in well salted water, with a slotted spoon scoop from pot into collander,  then run cold water over.  Save the boiling water and blanch peas in this water for 1 min then run cold water over to cool quickly and stop the cooking, set aside.  Peel fava bean skin from each bean, set aside.
Saute minced onion on med/low heat in 1 tbsp olive oil til translucent, then add fava beans and saute for 1 min more, seasoning with salt.  Allow to cool to room temperature.
Take 1/2 cup of the blanched peas, mint, olive oil, lemon juice & 2 drops stevia in blender and blend well scraping down sides making a rather runny kind of pesto.  Pour into serving vessel.
Assemble the Salads
Place greens & sprouts in a few varying piles on each large plate and lay spoonfuls of fava beans in corners.  Sprinkle peas over the salad and around the plate as you may and then drizzle with the mint dressing, offering more dressing on the side.  Enjoy.

*Notes: -please read the health warning about fava beans in the text preceding this recipe.

-if you choose not to serve fava beans, this salad is equally gorgeous with fresh blanched peas in place of the fava beans, just saute the onions and toss with peas instead.

You can get creative here with any special plate or platter you might have and dance these tasty morsels around the plate for a variety of taste sensations.  Plan B is to just top your greens in a nice big bowl and make two large salads of all the peas and fava and toss generously with the yummy dressing.  This is how I do it for lunch since I can’t be fancy about it a school.  Just don’t dress the salad til you are ready to eat it.

I have soooo much to share with  you about everything I’ve learned at school but it will have to wait until I’m thru with all the studying since there’s more than ever now with our last few classes.  I’m pleased that I managed this post for you but I may not be back until I’m done in 3 weeks.

Be well and enjoy summer and it’s offerings of lovely produce as it makes it’s approach.  I can’t wait to get cookin’ up some yummy ideas for you in August!



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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Wendy July 2, 2012 at 4:21 am

Thanks for the update and new recipe!

Rebecca July 2, 2012 at 6:40 am

“She’s alive! She’s alive” haha you read my mind! I am so glad you’re back! Good timing as I leave in a week for the US where I will once again commence my annual tradition of making as many of your recipes as possible within a month-long period! :) So keep ’em coming! This looks absolutely delectable, I just stocked up on peas here in Paris as if they were going out of style (they are in fact, it’s the end of the season – you can’t see me but I am crying real tears :) Another “simple yet elegant” recipe, merci beaucoup! Good luck for the end of your journey, can’t wait to hear what you’ve learned!

Sarah July 2, 2012 at 8:33 am

This looks absolutely amazing! Glad you’re back!


Sue/the view from great island July 2, 2012 at 11:28 am

Welcome back! It’s so hard to keep up a blogging schedule when you are busy, and especially when you are back and forth like you’ve been. This salad is stunning, your posts always convey such a passion for food, they are a pleasure…but you’ve scared me off fava beans for the time being!

Samantha Angela July 2, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Interesting fact about the enzyme deficiency! I never knew about that before.

frost July 6, 2012 at 2:33 am

i really love your shots.<3

The Healthy Apple July 6, 2012 at 8:06 pm

Beautiful, ladies! LOVE this…Hope you had a fabulous 4th of July!

Meredith July 14, 2012 at 11:06 pm

First of all… I have website envy. Your site is gorgeous. Do you take your post’s photos yourselves?

Second… I’ve never had a fava bean in my life. Never really been a bean person except good ol’ regular green beans, but your post has inspired me to try them. Thanks!

Apples and Pears July 25, 2012 at 4:26 am

I am just starting out on my own alkaline journey and am so excited to find you! Fabulous recipes, gorgeous photos and lots and lots of great advice and info. Can’t wait to try this broad bean salad x

julie July 28, 2012 at 11:07 pm

Meredith, Yes I take all the photos, it’s a real passion for me to be able to do so. Thank you kindly:) Enjoy the favas, they seem to be in every stand at the market right now.

Simmy July 30, 2012 at 5:56 am

Came across your blog via Google when I was searching on how to alkanise your drinking water. Just wanted to say what a beautiful blog you have – fantastic pictures and your energy and enthusiasm just bubbles over into each post.

I tried the courgette (pasta) recipe today. I don’t have a peeler like yours but I used my apple machine which spins the apples around and cuts them into spirals. It worked really well – though the spirals were a bit chunky. I had some home made pesto in the fridge and added that. It was sooo nice. I was ‘like wow’ as the Americans say! I think we’d probably just say ‘gosh – that was quite nice actually’!

Anyway, I’m whittering. I wanted to ask you about eating soya – tofu and soya milk etc? I see that you have said that up to 98% of it is GM but the cartons of milk I buy here in England assure me that their beans are not GM. Can that be true?

Going back to the water – I’m just adding a bit of bicarb and lemon juice to mine. Do you think that’s enough?

Sorry to bombard you with questions …………

warm wishes from, a now, sunny England

julie August 31, 2012 at 10:53 pm

HI Simmy, Thank you kindly:) Glad you enjoyed the courgette pasta, it’s one of my faves too! I try to avoid soy unless it is unprocessed like the soy beans- edamame. Moderation is key here in my opinion and needs to be organic. I use organic almond milk instead as I prefer the taste or I just make my own almond milk. The bicarb and lemon is just fine for your water:) Thanks for your comments! Keep up the healthy routine!

Gina September 9, 2012 at 7:34 am

Hi there! I was wondering what you thought of using lima beans instead of the fava beans as my ancestors are of Italian decent and the thought of death by fava bean may now give me nightmares. lol

Thank you! =)

Christina @FaerieWriter September 13, 2012 at 6:39 pm

I have nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award! For more details, please visit: Congratulations!

Alkaline Diet September 18, 2012 at 3:22 pm

What to say? I loved the salad recipe of above article. It was full of healthy and hygienic too.

admin September 22, 2012 at 9:25 pm

Christina, thank you so kindly:)

karen September 23, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Love this website…..miss new posts….. :( ….Hope all is well with you both.

Ira October 11, 2012 at 7:34 am

This blog is so inspiring, thank you so much for all the recipes that sound so fabulous. I´m going to start trying them out, one by one. Healthier living, day by day :)

Ira October 11, 2012 at 7:35 am

Oh and also, thank you for the endlessly positive outlook, I feel like sunshine after reading just a few posts :)

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