Salad of the Month: Quinoa, Fava Beans and Peas

Packed with fava beans, fresh herbs and peas, this salad will bring spring to the table in an instant. Mint, dill and scallions complement the ever-so-slightly-sweet flavor of the brown-rice vinegar seasoning, creating a bright and refreshing marinade for the salad. Quinoa provides the ideal texture and background, with plenty of protein and nutrients, making this salad a complete meal. Other spring vegetables can easily be added to the mix: Try blanched asparagus, radishes or sugar snap peas.

Spring Quinoa Salad

Serves 2 to 4

This salad is delicious as is or topped with a crumble of goat cheese or feta.

1 pound fava beans, shelled (about 1½ cups)
1 cup shelled peas, fresh or frozen
1½ cups cooked quinoa, cooled
4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons brown-rice vinegar
1 scallion, thinly sliced
¼ cup chopped dill
¼ cup loosely packed mint leaves, chopped
Sea salt to taste
Freshly ground back pepper
Pea shoots to garnish

Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add fava beans and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until tender. Scoop them out with a small strainer or slotted spoon and set aside to cool. Return water to a boil and add peas: If using fresh peas, simmer for 2 to 3 minutes or until tender; if using frozen, simmer for one minute and then drain. Set aside to cool.

Place cooked quinoa in a medium bowl and add olive oil and vinegar and stir to combine. Slip the skins off the fava beans by pinching one end open; add them to the quinoa. Add peas, scallions, dill, mint and a large pinch of salt and pepper. Stir to combine and season to taste. Serve topped with pea shoots.

Amy Chaplin is a chef and recipe developer in New York City. Her cookbook At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen will be available fall 2014. She blogs at Coconut & Quinoa.

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