Fava Bean Salad...

They say 'April is the cruelest month' (I think I might have mentioned that one before, probably every year), but so far May isn't doing much better. Summer sunshine one day, autumnal rain and winds the next. Apart from the sartorial conundrum, this also throws up food questions for me. Porridge or fruit salad for breakfast, hot chocolate or chilled rosé in the evenings, salad or chilli for dinner. My preferences seem to change nearly daily and depend on the outside temperature and weather - not to mention my mood. I go back and forth between craving summer food and feeling the need for something filling and warming. In a sense, it messes with my mind in the same way that things do that seem to be pulling me in one direction one moment and into the opposite the next. Only occasionally, I would simply like to know where I stand. Good or bad, rain or sunshine, just know and be done with it. At least then I can deal with it, put my sandals away before summer has even started and stop wasting time and energy wondering which direction I should take. Anyway, this salad is a bit of a "I don't know what the weather is doing" meal in one large bowl. Fava beans and pancetta, grilled tomatoes and feta cheese, fresh parsley, olive oil and lemon juice - filling, full of flavour and not too heavy. I found it perfect for this time of the year. Hopefully you will too.

Fava Bean Salad

To feed four people you will need the following ingredients:

  • 750g fava beans
  • 200g feta cheese
  • 400g cherry tomatoes
  • 200g pancetta
  • 1 large bunch flat leaf parsley
  • 3 medium shallots
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of one lemon
  • pepper
Fava Bean Salad

And here's how it's done:

  • heat up your grill and put the tomatoes under it
  • grill the tomatoes until just charred on one side, turn them once and char on the other side
  • put the pancetta and a little olive oil into a large pan and fry over a medium heat until just about crispy
  • peel, halve and finely slice the shallots, then add to the pancetta and sweat them on a low heat until they're soft and transluscent
  • add the beans, mix and cover
  • leave to cook on a low heat for 8 minutes
  • transfer the beans into a bowl and leave to cool
  • once cooled, cut the feta cheese into small pieces, add to the beans and mix
  • roughly chop the parsley and add to the salad
  • add the roasted tomatoes and stir in
  • add the lemon juice and olive oil to taste
  • season with pepper to taste (no salt needed, there's enough in the pancetta and cheese)
Fava Bean Salad
Fava Bean Salad
Fava Bean Salad

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