Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Fava Beans with Grilled Zucchini and Homemade Garlicky Croutons

[Photograph: Blake Royer]

Fava beans are a bit of a pain to cook, but there's nothing quite like eating a fresh shelled bean—a completely different experience from the dried or canned varieties we eat most of the year. They're best cooked simply, such as in a pasta without much else, or as part of a simple salad like this one. The recipe comes from Lucid Food by Louisa Shafia; I've been having very good luck with this cookbook over the last few weeks and this recipe is no exception.

The combination of flavors and textures in this salad keeps it interesting: just-soft grilled zucchini, al dente fava beans, the garlicky crunch of homemade croutons, and the salty crumble of Parmesan cheese. It's not the easiest salad I've ever constructed--everything (the zucchini, beans, and croutons) has to be cooked on its own—but it all comes together with a bright lemon and olive oil dressing. The homemade croutons, for me, really make it: They're both crisp and chewy and definitely worth making.

And best of all, you can have a huge portion and not think twice about it.

About the author: Blake Royer founded The Paupered Chef with Nick Kindelsperger, where he writes about food and occasional travels. After a year in Estonia, he's now living in Chicago.

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