UPDATE: I made the salad again, and this time I took a photo of it. I used 1 clove of regular garlic instead of garlic scopes this time around.

 I’ve heard a lot of people talking about how to deal with the mess from peeling beets. I know, I know, I am part of some riveting conversations. Below, I explain a trick I learned. 

I never cooked with fava beans before. The internet warned me that they are time-consuming, and this is true. However, the internet also let me know it would be worth the time. Also true. Wow, the internet is so smart.

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium-sized beets
  • 1/2 pound fava beans
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta
  • 2 garlic scapes
  • juice of 1/2 juicy lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. First, you need to get the beets in the oven. Jack Bishop, author of “Year in the Vegetarian Kitchen” suggests heating an oven to 400 degrees, wrapping the beets (cut off any dangling roots and the stalks) in two layers of aluminum foil, and cooking for 1-1.25 hours. After an hour, test your beets to see if a skewer glides easily through them. If so, they are done. Then, allow the beets to cool a bit before handling. Last, take a wad of paper towels to rub off the skin. (that’s the cool trick!) The last step for the beets is to cut them into the shape you want for your salad. Then, place the beets in a medium-sized bowl.

2. Once your beets are in the oven, start to deal with the beans. Get some water boiling.  While you are waiting for it to boil, peel off the stringy part to reveal the beans inside. As a bonus, you will discover that the inside of the pod is pillowy. Fascinating! The sad part will be when you realize that you don’t get a heck of a lot of beans for all that work. But you will get over it once you eat the beans (says the internet).

3. Next, put the beans in boiling water for a little under a minute. While that’s happening, prepare a bowl of ice cold water. Then, spoon out the beans and put them directly into the cold water to stop the cooking.

4. One more step before you eat the beans. Pinch off the outer shell to get to the edible part. You did it!

5. In a food processor (I used the mini prep), combine garlic scapes, lemon juice, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and a bit of salt and pepper to taste. Pour the dressing over the beets and stir to coat the beets

6. Arrange the dressed beets on a serving dish. Top with feta cheese and beans. (You can toss the ingredients all together, but the result will be a very pink salad.) Enjoy!

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