Thursday, May 19, 2011

Spring Salad

Tra-La! It's May! The Lusty Month of May! As I make my way around the Santa Monica Farmer's Market, I have Julie Andrews stuck in my head, singing this, and the bounty at the market right now sure is lusty. I came unprepared with one eco-bag, intending to buy "only a couple things." Forty dollars and fifteen pounds later, I'm lugging this bag up eight flights of stairs in the parking lot...but I don't care because I have bought a 'libelous display' of fruits and veggies and I am stoked to create something fresh, colorful, and healthy for dinner tonight. I'm thinking of all the creative things I can do with my fava beans, tangelos, purple asparagus, haricot verts, and butter lettuce. Ultimately, though, I don't want to hide the flavor of any of these gems! The beauty of a fresh, seasonal vegetable is that asparagus tastes more asparagus-y, and favas taste more fava-lous, and tangelos are tangel-icious! So, I just made this simple salad which showcases the ingredients for all the lusty freshness they have to offer. Happy May, Maidens and Lads.

1 cup shelled fava beans (about 1 lb shelled favas)*
1/2 lb haricot verts or green beans, trimmed
1 lb asparagus (any color), trimmed**
1-2 tangelos (substitute tangerine or orange), segmented
1 lemon, zested and juiced
extra virgin olive oil
Butter lettuce, 1 large head or 2 small heads, rinsed and dried

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat. While water is heating, prepare an ice bath by putting lots of ice into a big bowl with cold water.

2. When boiling, put asparagus into water. (If it comes with a rubber band, that can go in the water which will make it easier to take the asparagus out). Cook for 2 minutes, remove asparagus with slotted spoon and plunge directly into ice bath to stop cooking. Repeat with haricot verts and fava beans.

3. When all the vegetables have cooled, drain the vegetables in a colander and dry using a salad spinner or towels. Cut the asparagus and green beans into one inch pieces and put in a medium bowl. Shell the fava beans, removing the white casing and add the bright green fava to the bowl with the green beans and asparagus. Add segmented tangelo or orange.

4. In a small tupperware container, add lemon juice. Add a generous pinch of salt and dissolve the salt in the lemon juice. Add zest of half the lemon, discarding the remaining zest. Then add equal parts (more or less to taste) olive oil. Close lid and shake vigorously to emulsify. Pour 3/4 of vinaigrette over bean mixture and toss gently.

5. Lay lettuce on plate. Dress with the remaining vinaigrette. Top with the bean mixture. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Makes 4.

Printable version here.

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