Well, summer’s over, but we had one last hurrah in Virginia and it was phenomenal. Every year, Kramer’s dad and his girlfriend rent a house on the beach somewhere, and the whole family comes out to relax, sunbathe, eat, and do whatever else. I look forward to it every year, and this year was really something else. They went all out on the house, which was not only right on the beach, but had both an indoor and an outdoor pool. It was honestly insane. I felt like a dog with two toys. Which one do I pick? Kramer and I invited our friends Jeena and Taren to come along, since the house was huge, and we all drove down together, which was fun in and of itself. Who doesn’t love a good road trip, filled with snacks and music and rejuvenating car naps? It was great. I even got a slight tan, which is sort of amazing if you know me and my pasty white body. All in all, the vacation was exactly what we needed to end the summer. I’ve got more photos, obviously, but I’m sharing the first batch that I’ve gone through thus far. Yeah, we had a pretty good time.
This salad was something I made a few months ago, but put on the back burner in favor of things like pies and cupcakes and whatnot. I don’t think fava beans are in season anymore, but no matter – you can easily sub chickpeas or black beans or any other legume that you’re fond of, and it’ll probably cut some steps out of the recipe, too, since favas have to be blanched and peeled. Either way, I was inspired by this salad from Bon Appetit, but used what I had readily available and made the dressing a bit sweeter, to my liking. I also added the beet greens from the beets, which I usually throw away, but I wanted to add something extra to this salad, preferably green, and wouldn’t you know it, beet greens are super good for you and tasty, too! So I quickly blanched those and added them to the mix. I was surprised at how well received this bowl o’ beets was by the people I served it to. I was even asked for the recipe, if you can believe it! See, people do love vegetables.
Jeena, Taren, Kramer and I started most mornings reading on the porch. It was heavenly.
We had the beach to ourselves most of the time.
Okay – salad time.
Process your dressing in a blender or food processor until emulsified. This makes the dressing thick enough to stick to all your veggies.
I recommend using a mandolin to slice your beets. It’s one of my favorite kitchen tools and only costs, like, $10.
Boil and peel your favas.
Give ’em a rough chop and add them to your beets.
Which are chilling right here with the dressing and the fava beans.
That’s it! I like to let this sit in my fridge for a few hours so the flavors meld together nicely.
- 4 small beets, sliced paper thin (preferably on a mandolin)
- beet greens, trimmed and rinsed
- ½ pound fava beans, blanched and peeled
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 1-inch piece of ginger, roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- First, prep your fava beans. If you don't have fava beans, you can use chickpeas or any other legume you prefer. For the favas, though, bring a pot of water to a boil and remove the beans from their pods. Simmer in the water for 3-4 minutes, until slightly softened, then remove the beans from the hot water and place in ice water to stop the cooking process. Remove the fava beans from their skins and set aside. I split mine for the salad, but you can leave them whole if you like.
- Thinly slice your beets, using a mandolin or a very sharp knife (I'm talking paper thin). Place them in a large bowl and add the fava beans. Set aside.
- Trim your beet greens and rinse them under cold water. Dump out the water you boiled your fava beans in and fill it with fresh water, then bring it to a boil. Simmer your beet greens in the boiling water for 2-3 minutes, until tender. Remove from the water, blanch in ice water to stop the cooking, and dry on paper towels. Roughly chop the greens and add them to your beets and beans.
- In a small sauce pan, combine your olive oil and curry powder. Whisk, then allow the mixture to simmer slightly for 3-4 minutes, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
- In a food processor or blender, combine the garlic, ginger, vinegar, honey, mustard, and salt. Slowly add in the cooled curry oil mixture, a bit at a time, blending slowly until emulsified. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and use your hands to toss it all together. Let the salad sit in your fridge for an hour or so before serving.
- This will keep well, covered and in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days. I personally thing it gets tastier with age.