Fava Bean, Asparagus & Chickpea Salad

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I was SO HAPPY to find these spring veggies at my food coop, and so I ran to the NY Times Cooking section to figure out what to do with them. I adapted this recipe slightly, but both versions are amazingly delicious and super easy to boot. Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds fava beans, shelled and skinned
  • 1 pound trimmed asparagus, (I used white, which looks very pretty, as you can see)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced 
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup dry chickpeas


  1. Soak the chickpeas overnight. Drain and rinse.
  2. Place chickpeas in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 90 minutes to an hour, until chickpeas are soft.
  3. Blanch and skin the fava beans and place them in a bowl. Use the blanching water to blanch the asparagus, or steam the asparagus if you prefer. If blanching, bring the water in the pot to a boil, salt generously and add the asparagus spears. Blanch 1 to 4 minutes, depending on how thick the asparagus is; fat spears (recommended) will take up to 4 minutes, but thin ones are ready in 1 minute. You can steam the asparagus over 1 inch boiling water for the same amount of time if you prefer.           ** Note: I blanched both, and thought the consistency was perfect. Steaming asparagus can be tricky if you’re not a master, and the blanching really makes it simple and straightforward — you can basically see for yourself when it’s perfect.
  4. Transfer the lightly cooked asparagus to a bowl of cold water, then drain and dry on paper towels. Cut into 1-inch lengths. Add to the bowl with the fava beans. Add the herbs, and the chickpeas.
  5. Combine the lemon zest and juice, vinegar, garlic or shallots, and salt to taste in a bowl. Whisk in the oil and yogurt. Toss with the favas, asparagus and chickpeas. Allow to marinate for 30 minutes, then serve.

See the original NY Times recipe here: http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1014812-fava-bean-and-asparagus-salad.

It’s great. But in my opinion dried chickpeas are always better. Also they suggest potentially leaving out the chickpeas. Which is a terrible idea.


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