Fava Bean, Asparagus and Watercress Salad with Garlick & Nigella Dressing

By Tobi @ brag&butter
April 19, 2014
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Author Notes: A fully loaded springtime salad, that celebrates the textures of seasonal produce and comes with a ton of flavor.Tobi @ brag&butter

Serves: 2


  • 250 grams fava beens, podded
  • 1 bunch green asparagus
  • 2 spring onions
  • 5 sprigs fresh mint
  • 1-2 bunches watercress


  • 3-5 young garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 untreated lemon
  • 1 teaspoon nigella seeds
  • sea salt, pepper
  1. Prepare the vegetables: Remove the woody part of the asparagus by holding the lower end of the spear between your thumb and index finger and the middle part with your other hand and bend it. It will snap off where the woody part begins. Chop into pieces of about 2.5 cm length and set aside. Pod the beans and put on a large amount of water, bring to the boil and salt generously. Boil the fava beans for about 4 minutes until tender. Meanwhile prepare a bowl of cold water (add ice cubes if you like) and transfer the beans to the water once they’re done. Give the asparagus a quick blanch of about 2 minutes in the boiling water and transfer to the water as well, to stabilize the chlorophyl and the bright green color. Remove the skins from the fava beans by pressing them with your thumb and index finger like my busy husband is kindly doing in the photo above. Prepare the watercress, roughly chop the mint and finely slice the spring onion.
  2. Drop the garlic cloves (except one) into the water, skin included, and blanch them for about 2 minutes as well, then take them out to cool. Peel and mash the garlic with a generous pinch of salt in a mortar (or in a bowl with a fork) until creamy, then add some lemon zest, grate in the last raw garlic clove, add half a tsp of nigella seeds and turn into a paste again (it will turn slightly grey once the cumin breaks up). Add the juice of 1/2 lemon and whisk in 2 tbsp olive oil. Dressing is always very subjective, so taste with salt and lemon, then pepper. Toss the salad with the dressing and sprinkle with the rest of the nigella seeds, serve immediately.

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