Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Radish and Fava Bean Salad

I'm always looking for new salad ideas. During the colder months, we usually stick to baby arugula or baby kale salads (typically as a side dish at dinner), but as soon as the weather warms up - and all of this fresh produce is available - I crave something more. Something more creative.

Next week, I'm catering a dinner party and the host asked if I could make a salad from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook (we're both big fans). I happily obliged, and offered to make this Radish and Fava Bean Salad (with a few tiny modifications). To make sure the salad was what I wanted, I made a batch yesterday...and let me tell you, this is spring in a bowl.

Radish and Fava Bean Salad | The Economical Eater

Almost like a salsa, this hearty and chunky salad is chock-full of protein-packed fava beans, crunchy radishes, spicy red onions, and a ton of fresh parsley and cilantro. It's a great, cool salad for warmer days, and made a lovely accompaniment to veggie burgers we cooked on the grill (old habits die hard, I guess!).

Radish and Fava Bean Salad with Green Tahini Sauce
Yields: 4 servings
Adapted slightly from Ottolenghi
-1 pound fresh shelled fava beans
-1 1/2 cups small radishes
-1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced
-2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
-1/8 teaspoon lemon zest
-Juice of 2 lemons
-2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
-3 tablespoons olive oil
-1 teaspoon ground cumin
-Salt and black pepper, to taste
-Scant 1 cup Green Tahini Sauce (recipe follows)

Yields: About 1 1/2 cups
-2/3 cup tahini paste
-2/3 cup water
-5 tablespoons lemon juice
-2 cloves garlic, crushed
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves

1.) Place the fava beans in a pot of boiling water and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, depending on size. Drain through a large colander and rinse under cold water to refresh them. Remove the beans from their skins by gently squeezing each one with your fingertips.
2.) Cut the radishes into 4 wedges each and mix with the fava beans, onion, cilantro, lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, olive oil, and cumin. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3.) To serve, mix with the Green Tahini Sauce, being careful not to overdress the salad (you may not need the entire 1 cup). Ottolenghi suggests serving the two separately, but I enjoyed it tossed together.

1.) In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine everything except for the parsley until smooth. Add more water if needed (you want a creamy and smooth consistency, almost like honey). Add the parsley and turn the machine on again for a second or two. 

Radish and Fava Bean Salad | The Economical Eater

I loved all of the fresh lemon juice and herbs in this salad. I also loved how the surprisingly light, nutty tahini sauce paired with the rest of the bright, fresh flavors. This salad is definitely one I can see us making several times this summer (especially for our vegan peeps!).

What's your favorite spring/summer salad?


  1. My parents are obsessed with this cookbook!

  2. This looks like a super refreshing summer meal!

  3. This looks wonderful. I keep looking but I haven't been able to find fava beans.