Reader Recipe: Fava Beans and Crispy Pancetta Salad with a Pea, Pecorino and Mint Dressing
Luisa Ormonde, a Sigona’s Preferred Customer, submitted the following recipe for this really simple yet tasty dish for fava beans (in season now!) that she spices up with peas, almonds, pancetta and more. Luisa, who is also a private chef in San Carlos, likes to use young peas and broad beans/favas when they’re in season; if you can’t find them, she suggests using edamame instead!
Fava Beans and Crispy Pancetta Salad with a Pea, Pecorino & Mint Dressing
- 4 lbs. broad/fava beans, in their pods (makes about 4 cups peeled beans. You can use lima beans or even or edamame instead if you want)
- 2 c. fresh English peas
- 6 slices pancetta, chopped (or you can use 8 slices of applewood-smoked bacon)
- a handful of slivered almonds, toasted
- 1/2 c. mixture of both Pecorino and Parmesan cheese, grated
- a handful of fresh mint, leaves picked
- 8 TBL [Sigona’s Fresh Press] extra virgin olive oil
- juice of 1 or 2 lemons
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Directions: Bring a boil a pot, half filled with water but with NO SALT as this makes broad beans and peas toughen. Remove the beans from their outer pod and add the beans and cook for around 3 to 5 minutes, depending on how young the beans are. Drain, and place in ice bath to chill.
Place bacon on a baking tray, with the almonds spread out next to it. Place in a 475 degree oven, keeping an eye on the almonds to make sure they don’t color too much. The bacon should crisp in the same amount of time needed to toast the almonds, but simply remove one or the other if it is getting too far ahead.
Drain beans and peas from ice bath and place in salad bowl. Add olive oil and 4-5 TBL of lemon juice, to taste. Add cheese and mint. Toss and season to taste − it should have an amazing flavor of sweet peas, tangy lemon, fragrant mint and a softness and roundness from the cheese. A balance is good, but you should also trust your own personal judgment.
Divide on plates, sprinkle on bacon and serve.