Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Quinoa Tabouli with Fresh Fava Beans

When I saw heaps of fresh spring fava beans along side fall foods like walnuts, porcini, chestnuts and squash in the Ventimiglia market the other day, I got confused.  Was it spring?  Was it fall?

I often get confused about which season it is here in the Côte d'Azur.  The weather is always temperate so there are always a few spring-like goodies here and there in the local markets even in the dead of winter.  

One thing's for sure, when I do see these bonus fruits and vegetables, I always buy them and prepare something to travel forward or back to wherever they usually belong.  In the case of these fava beans, forward to the spring.  Ahh.

Quinoa Tabouli with Fresh Fava Beans

Serves 4 as a starter, 2 as a main course
Whole fava pods

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa or 1 cup cooked
12-15 whole fava pods
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup finely chopped chives or green onions
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons fruity olive oil
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)

Inner beans after cooking and cooling

1.  Cook the quinoa in salted water until it's al dente.  Pour the quinoa through a sieve and leave it to cool completely.

2.  Remove the beans from the whole pods and boil the inner fava beans for about 6 minutes in heavily salted water.  Drain and blanch by covering them in cold water with a few handfuls of ice cubes added.  Allow them to cool completely.

3.  Peel the fava beans.  Using a small knife or your fingernail, make a small slit the tough outer skin and squeeze out the soft, tender, inner bean. Set aside.

Peeled fava beans
4. Combine the cooked quinoa, peeled fava, tomatoes, parsley, mint, and the chopped chives or green onion in a medium bowl.  Mix well, add the lemon juice and olive oil.  Add salt and pepper to taste and adjust the seasoning. Stir in the pine nuts.  

5. If you're adding feta cheese, you can crumble it and stir it in or cut it into slices or wedges and place it on top of each serving.

6.  Serve with lemon wedges on the side.

1.  If you can't fiind fresh fava beans you can substitute edamame.


Loree said...

I've never eaten quinoa. Is it anything like couscous?

Bronwyn in Hong Kong said...

I have been looking for Quinoa as well! Looks yum! Good for you :-)

Gustia said...

Cous Cous is made from Durham wheat semolina but quinoa is actually a seed. You can buy cous cous pre cooked and dehydrated so you only have to add boiling water to and then fluff it with a fork. Quinoa needs to be cooked in boiling water to be edible. Quinoa is higher in protein than cous cous and it has a springy texture in the mouth whereas cous cous is softer and tastes sweeter. Give it a go!