Fresh Fava Bean and Pecorino Salad
Serves 8 to 12
2 cups of shelled fava beans, or about 2 pounds unshelled
8 oz Pecorino Toscano (you can order it online from A. G. Ferrari Foods)
cut the cheese into cubes about the same size as the fava beans
1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice, you can substitute white or red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, (you can vary the ratio of oil to lemon juice to suit your own taste. The general ratio for a vinaigrette is 3 to 1 oil to vinegar, but the recipe from Cibrèo, uses 1 cup of olive oil to only 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar. Other versions of the salad use only olive oil)
1 small clove of garlic, chopped
About 2 tablespoons each of chopped fresh oregano, flat-leaf Italian parsley and chives, or your favorite herbs.
A pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
If the beans are in their pods, they should be shelled into a bowl. In the early spring the beans can be eaten raw, without removing the next layer of skin. But they usually need to be blanched in salted boiling water for about 1 minute, drained and shocked in ice water. The skin can then be cut slightly and the two smaller beans removed. If you have never done this before, you might want to take a look at “How to Shell Fava Beans”. In a bowl, whisk the lemon juice with the extra-virgin olive oil, add the beans with the remaining ingredients, toss to combine and let the salad sit at room temperature for about an hour before serving.