Something happens when the weather first warms up. It feels like vacation, perhaps because it is such a departure from the place that we know as we knew it throughout the winter. Perhaps it’s because there’s so much exposed skin and, well, that affects us on some animal level. Then a song comes on, a song from our youth, Paul Simon’s You Can Call Me Al, and it just makes that warm spring weather about a thousand times more perfect, and winds up following us around, unshakeable, for a week.
Other things that make the spring weather even better? Salads with pea shoots in them. And fava beans. Salads that are unbelievably easy to prepare, which is important right now, because there are more important things to be doing. Like dancing around to Paul Simon songs, thinking about Chevy Chase in his prime, and drinking wine spritzers.
This Pea Shoot Salad with Fava Beans recipe is part of the April Seasonal Food Guide.
PEA SHOOT SALAD WITH FAVA BEANS
1/4 pound pea shoots
1 pound fava beans, shelled
4 radishes, thinly sliced
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 avocado, halved and sliced lengthwise
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
salt + pepper
Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Blanch the favas for no more than two minutes. Place them in an ice bath. When cool, remove the inner shell by either popping the bean out with your fingers or using a paring knife. Set aside.
Whisk together the olive oil and Balsamic vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Toss the pea shoots, radishes and slivered almonds with the dressing. Divide salad among four plates. Top each plate with a quarter of the fava beans and a quarter of the avocado. Serve and enjoy!