Asparagus, Fava Bean & Pea Shoot Salad

April  7, 2010
2 Ratings
  • Serves 4-6
Author Notes

Knowing I would have an army of free hands to shell three pounds of fava beans, that decided this side dish for a pork tenderloin. I decided to alter an Epicurious salad recipe calling for bitter arugula with sweeter pea shoots—my favorite kind of salad. And in April, the addition of asparagus and fava beans made this a one-two-three punch. —tanabutler

Test Kitchen Notes

This salad is a very simple and lovely way to showcase the best of spring. The recipe uses three seasonal ingredients that work nicely together. I really enjoyed the combo of the slightly sweet, crunchy pea shoots with the strong, green asparagus and tender beans. I agree with tanabutler that is worth peeling the favas -- the skins are tough and hide the beautiful emerald green of the beans. The cheese is a great way to season the salad and I love the added oomph of a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. - Stephanie —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 2-3 oz. fresh pea shoots
  • 2 lbs. asparagus, blanched, and cut into 1/4" discs
  • 3 lbs. fava beans, shelled, blanched, and peeled
  • 2-3 oz. Pecorino cheese, coarsely grated
  • Drizzles of the very best extra virgin olive oil you have
  • Best flaked salt you have (sea salt, kosher, etc.)
  • Freshly cracked peppercorns
  1. Blanch asparagus until bright green, then plunge into ice water bath to shock it and prevent further cooking. Drain well: use towels if needed to dry the stems. Cut stems into 1/4" pieces, leaving tips intact. Set aside.
  2. Shell the fava beans, and blanch them for 2-3 minutes. Cool quickly in ice water, and drain well. Remove the skins (or not, if you prefer; I don't mind the extra work for the results), and set aside.
  3. Coarsely chop the pea shoots into thirds and put them on a platter (12"-14" or so). Top with the aspagus and fava beans, strewn evenly over.
  4. Drizzle the olive oil gently back and forth, without using too heavy a hand. Add the grated Pecorino (you can substitute Parmigiano Reggiano), and delicately hand salt the salad. Add a small amount of cracked pepper, and you're done. (You may also add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, but I think the salad is perfect without it.)
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  • Jessica
  • Cookerguy

2 Reviews

Jessica June 23, 2018
Great for those of us on a low acid diet!
Cookerguy April 7, 2010
Looks, and sounds fantastic!!