For a fresh taste of spring, start with tender fava leaves in your salad.
Weeks before the first fava beans appear in the garden or at the farmers’ market, there’s a surer sign of spring: fava greens. Many people overlook the silvery-green foliage in favor of the pods, but they’re every bit as edible as the beans you’re most familiar with. Fava greens are a great way to get that fresh fava flavor without all the work of shelling the beans. They’re light, tender, and succulent. Fava leaves embody all the earthiness of spring. If you’re lucky enough to grow your own fava plants at home, or you come across the greens in your CSA box or farmers’ market, gather a few handfuls for this bright and zesty salad.
FOR THE DRESSING
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons orange zest plus more for garnishing
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
FOR THE SALAD
- 4 cups packed fava leaves
- 2 oranges zested, segmented, and juices reserved (use zest for dressing)
- 2 grapefruits segmented and juices reserved
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ½ cup toasted and chopped walnuts
- Fava flowers for garnishing
- To make the dressing, combine the reserved orange juices and grapefruit juices with the shallot, salt, pepper, and orange zest in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil until well blended. Place the fava leaves in a large serving bowl and lightly toss with the dressing. (You might not use all of it.) Divide the fava leaves among four plates and arrange the orange and grapefruit segments around the leaves. Sprinkle the feta and walnuts on top, then garnish with a few fava flowers and a pinch of orange zest on each plate.