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Fava Bean Salad with Garlic Labneh and Almond Dukkah

 Image of Fava Bean Salad with Garlic Labneh and Almond Dukkah

Fava beans, which also go by the moniker broad beans, pigeon beans or horse beans, are one of the oldest cultivated crops on earth—adored by the ancient Greeks, Romans and people of Middle Eastern descent. Traditionally, fava beans were eaten fresh straight-off-the-bush when the beans were very young since it has a sweet flavor reminiscent of snap peas at this stage. Older beans were boiled and dressed simply in olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper. Now a global staple, fava beans make an appearance on Middle Eastern, Egyptian, Asian, European, South American and African tables.

Although they look like lima beans, favas beans are less starchy (contain fewer carbs) and have a milder taste. Creamy, earthy and nutty with a hint of bitterness on the back note, older favas are cooked by boiling or steaming. Complex in flavor, favas are pureed and eaten as a dip similar to hummus, added whole to soups to beef up the protein content, or used whole as the foundation of room-temperature entree salads served as a main.

Mislabeled as a “bean,” favas are actually members of the pea family and are loaded with nutrients with impressive health benefits. Favas are rich in Levodopa (L-dopa), a compound that the body converts to the neurotransmitter dopamine. Researchers are currently investigating the effects of fava beans for easing the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, with good results. Who knew!

In this recipe, fava beans are folded into a spiced garlic, lemon, and turmeric-flavored Middle Eastern yogurt called labneh, spread on the bottom of the serving plate, and topped with salty, creamy feta, spiced, crunchy almond dukkah and a dusting of minced fresh dill. This veggie-centric main is a dish best served at room temperature.

Fava Bean Salad with Garlic Labneh and Almond Dukkah
Serves: 2 as a main; 4 as a side
Image of dukkah ingredients
Ingredients:
For the dukkah:
1 teaspoon coriander seed
½ teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons toasted white sesame seeds
1/3 cup unsalted, roasted chopped almonds, ¼-inch chop
½ teaspoon dried mint
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon kosher flake salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon Aleppo or crushed red pepper flakes

Preparation:
In a small nonstick pan over medium-heat, toast coriander seeds and cumin, shaking occasionally till seeds are fragrant and slightly darker—about 1 minute.

Image of spices in pan

Remove from heat and place in a small bowl. Add toasted sesame seeds, diced raw almonds, dried mint, dried oregano and salt and red pepper flakes, then set aside.

Image of dukkah in pan

For the fava beans

Image of dukkah ingredients
Ingredients:
3 tablespoons virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
½ cup labneh (Middle Eastern Yogurt)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon lemon juice, or about 1 fresh lemon
1 package of Melissa’s Peeled & Steamed Fava Beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup crumbled French or Bulgarian feta cheese
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill

Preparation:

Add 2 tablespoons oil to the same nonstick pan used for the dukkah, and heat on medium heat till wavy but not smoking. Remove from heat and add turmeric and allow oil to sit until it comes to room temperature.
Image of dukkah in pan
In a medium bowl, add labneh, garlic, lemon juice, turmeric oil and salt. Add beans and gently fold with a rubber spatula to incorporate.

Place fava beans on a serving plate, spreading out like a fan, then top with feta, dukkah and minced dill.
Image of dukkah on plate
Serve at room temperature.

Although this food item is labeled a “bean”, it is actually a member of the pea family.


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