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How to Make Warm Fava Bean Salad with Shallots and Parmesan

Warm Fava Bean Salad

Despite the extra effort they require, fave beans are a welcome addition to our rotation for the brief period that they are in season. This recipe is our favorite way to make them because it’s about as quick as easy as you can get with fava beans, and it’s relatively light and summery in addition to being rich and delicious. (Yes it can be all those things at the same time!)

When purchasing the fava beans, if you don’t remember the 2 pound target, just be sure to buy a lot. Buy at least 2-3 times the amount that you THINK you’ll need, because by the time they are fully shelled the volume decreases markedly.

This also goes well with crostinis made from baking thinly sliced french bread brushed with olive oil (cheese topping optional).

Warm Fava Bean Salad with Shallots and Parmesan

Makes 2 servings as a main or more as as side

Amount Ingredient Preparation Notes
2 pounds Fava Beans In the pod Kimbell’s Farm (USQ Market)
2 Shallolts (or 1 small red onion), thinly sliced Red Fire Farm CSA
0.5 tsp Sherry Vinegar
2 TBsp Fresh mint or basil Chopped Drumlin Farm, USQ Market
0.25 cup Parmesan Grated
2 TBsp Unsalted Butter
2.25 tsp Kosher Salt


  1. First, add 2 TBsp of salt to a medium-size pot of water and set it on high and bring it to a rolling boil. While you are waiting, go on to step 2.
  2. Remove the beans from the outer pod by twisting one end and getting the seam to split (if you can). Sometimes the seam will pull off like a little zipper, other times it will just crack open. Run your thumb down the gap to split it and remove the beans. Other pods are less cooperative and require you to break the pod apart piece by piece. Discard the pods.

    Fava Bean in the PodFirst Shelling:   Bean from Pod

    De-Podded BeansDe-Podded Beans

  3. Fill a large bowl with cold water and ice. Once the beans are out of their pods and the water in the pot is at a rolling boil, boil the beans for 3 minutes. Once the 3 minutes are up, remove the beans from the boiling water all at once with a fry spider or drain through a colander. The points, get all the beans out of the water as quickly as possible so that none over-cook.

    Immediately put the beans into the ice water. Then, one by one, squeeze each bean out of its protective outer sheath and place them all in a medium bowl. Notice how much smaller of a bowl you will now need! This is where it can get a bit tedious. The inner bean should be a much more vibrant green.

    Second Shelling:  Bean from SheathTwice-shelled and blanched:  ready to go!

  4. Melt the butter in a medium skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shallots or onions and wilt them for about 2 minutes.

    Sautee the Shallots or OnionsWarm Fava Bean Salad

  5. Add the fava beans and the rest of the salt (0.25 tsp) and cook while stirring for about 2 minutes. Add the sherry vinegar and give everything a good toss.
  6. Turn off the heat and add most of the mint or basil and 2.5 TBsp of the cheese. Stir to melt and mix.
  7. Plate it and garnish with the remaining mint and cheese. Enjoy!

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