During the time I spent in Lisbon over the past year, there was a noted dearth of fresh vegetables in my diet. The food in Lisbon is wonderful, but it’s not particularly fresh. One night I stumbled upon a tapas restaurant that served a fava bean salad and it quickly became my go-to vegetable dish when I was craving something light. It was a cold, simple salad of favas, tomatoes, olive oil and herbs. I couldn’t tell you exactly what was in it, but it hit the spot.
I tried to recreate this salad for this week… and totally missed the mark. But, what I did make turned out wonderful. Nothing like that particular tapas dish, but delicious nonetheless. It has a lot of Spanish flavors – smoked paprika, jamón, tomatoes – that all meld together in a warm, homey dish. It ended up being my favorite of all the fava dishes I’ve made for this week, a total surprise hit. Try it with a few slices of crusty bread or a bowl of pasta for a comforting spring dinner.
More Fava Bean Recipes…
Spanish Fava Bean Salad with Tomatoes and Jamón
A warm tapas dish of sauteed fava beans, fresh tomatoes, and jamón.
- Yield: 4
- Cuisine: Spanish
- 2 TBS olive oil
- 1 small red onion, peeled and chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 cups of shucked and peeled fresh fava beans
- 2 TBS fresh lemon juice
- 1 medium heirloom tomato, roughly chopped
- 1/2 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
- 2 thin pieces of jamón serrano or prosciutto, torn into bite size pieces
- Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes more, stirring frequently. Add the peeled fava beans, lemon juice, tomato, and smoked paprika. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have broken down and the fava beans are tender.
- Push the beans to one side of the pan to expose the bottom of the pan. Add the pieces of jamón to the bottom of the pan and fry for 1 minute, just to crisp up. Mix the jamón into the beans and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm with crusty bread or warm pasta.