Summer Salad of Fresh Peas, Fava Beans and Feta Recipe – Cruising California
It’s summer and I’m on the road, this time to visit dear friends. So, while the lemons from last week are curing, I’ll be taking you with me on my adventures…this week California.
I starting feeling very nostalgic returning to Northern California. The foggy mornings gave way to brilliant sun and blue sky in the afternoon. The invigorating yet peaceful smell of pine trees and sea air. Most of all, the warmth that I felt in my heart from seeing old friends that I hadn’t seen in quite a while. I used to live there a lifetime ago. The memories that were in soft focus quickly sharpened and I fell in love with the area all over again.
We started out the first morning driving along to coast to visit Half Moon Bay which was still sleeping under a soft blanket of fog, but that never stops folks from enjoying the beach.
We drove along the winding, windswept coast for a bit, but returned for lunch at Pasta Moon. There we had lovely, light lunch that included a salad of fresh peas, fava beans, feta cheese and lemon zest that inspired this recipe. It was green, fresh and the citrus added a bright note. We followed it with a artichoke and arugula pizza, which was thin, crisp and flavorful.
I thought that you might like to try this salad, so when we went to the market on Saturday, I was happy to see the same vendor that Pasta Moon gets their veggies from, Iacopi Farm, set up on the pier in San Francisco. I eagerly bought a large bag of fava beans and a second filled with peas…other folks might buy trinkets to fill their suitcases with, I fill mine with produce.
I left California with mixed emotions, the trip was so short, I didn’t get my fill of friendship and coastal beauty, but I did get an inspiration for a recipe or two for you to share with family and friends for your next Sunday Supper.
For this recipe I decided to try not to shell my fava beans. I’ve been reading that this is an acceptable way to serve them that does not entail as much work and has more fiber. At first I was enthusiastic, but changed my mind after tasting. So if you wish to skip the shelling process, please go ahead…but I have to say, I wouldn’t recommend it.
Some of you might be asking, how is this done. You remove the beans from the pod, blanch them in boiling water for 30 seconds, drain the beans and place immediately into a bowl of icy water. You then remove the outer shell to reveal the inner bean…more work, but it’s worth it.
Fresh peas, fava beans and feta salad recipe
Yield: 4 - 6 oz. servings
1 teaspoon lemon zest (preferably from an organic lemon)
2 tablespoons good quality, extra virgin olive oil
1 sprig fresh tarragon
1 1/2 pounds fresh peas in their pods (which will yield approximately 1 3/4 cups of peas)
1 pound fresh fava beans in their pods (which will yield approximately 1 cup of beans)
1/4 cup feta cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a small bowl mix the lemon zest with the olive oil. Set aside.
Remove the peas from their pods. Place in bowl.
Remove the fava beans from their shells, blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds, drain, then place beans in a large bowl of icy water.
Remove the outer shells from the fava beans, place in bowl with peas.
In a large pot of boiling water, add the sprig of tarragon and let boil for 3 minutes. Then toss in the peas and beans for approximately 60 seconds (if you like your veggies "al dente" like I do). If you prefer them a bit softer, cook for 2 - 3 minutes or till they achieve the texture you desire.
Drain peas and beans and place in a bowl Remove tarragon sprig..
Toss with the lemon zest mixed with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Sprinkle with feta cheese.
Chill, or you may serve room temperature.
You can serve these in lettuce shells if you like.