My celebration of spring continues this week with two of my favorite seasonal ingredients: peas and fava beans. Though it’s a bit predictable, I can’t resist the pairing of peas, favas, and mint for it’s fresh, green taste. It just screams spring! Here I’ve simmered the peas and favas until tender (you can use frozen if fresh are not available), then mash them with some garlic confit and mint. There’s no dairy so the dish is totally vegan and parve, not to mention gluten free. It’s light and healthy, but packed with flavor. I like the texture of the roughly mashed vegetables, but you could blend them thoroughly for a bright springtime puree.
This vegan side dish goes well with just about anything. Serve it with tofu or cauliflower steaks to keep it vegetarian, or spoon it alongside chicken, poached salmon and asparagus with garlic two ways (as I did for this article), or any fish or seafood. It would be great with grilled foods, and can be served at just about any temperature so is a great contender for a potluck or barbecue.
- 2 cups shelled favas (from about 2 pounds whole pods)
- 2 cups shelled peas (from about 1½ pounds whole pods, depending on variety)
- ½ cup finely chopped fresh mint
- 2 cloves garlic confit (optional)
- 2 tablespoons garlic oil (from garlic confit; optional - substitute olive oil)
- Bring a large pot of water to a simmer. Add the fava beans and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Add the peas and continue to cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Drain and rinse under cold water to maintain their color. Once cool enough to handle, sift through and slip off the skins from the fava beans (the white outsides of the shelled beans are edible but I find the texture gets in the way of this dish).
- Put the fava beans, peas, mint, garlic confit, and oil in a large bowl and roughly mash.
- Season with salt and serve or set aside (it's great warm, at room temperature, and even cold).
Substitute frozen favas and/or peas if fresh is not available. Defrost first by running under cool water or add a few minutes to the cooking time.
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