Week 23, Meal 1: You’re new fava-rite fish dish

Fava beans are a staple of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean diets, not only because they’re protein-packed, but because they’re freakin’ delicious, too.

They’re a pain to get to, but the result is a bean that’s not as texturally gross as the lima, with a pleasant taste almost like zucchini squash.

Quick-cooked in olive oil with onions, these beans were a hearty meal on their own, but topped with a slab of pink salmon and  a sour, herbaceous salad – this just might be you’re new fava-rite fish dish.

Here’s Week 23, Meal 1: Grilled salmon over fava beans, spring onion and basil topped with parsley and radish salad in lemon vinaigrette.

The Recipe (Yield: 2 servings)

2 5-6 oz. pieces of salmon, skinless
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cooking spray

Fava mix
2 lbs. whole fava beans in the pod
2 spring onions, white and light green, sliced
2 T basil, chiffonade (thin slice)
1 T olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Parsley and radish salad
1 cup loosley-packed parsley leaves
3 radishes, sliced thin
1 lemon, juiced
1 T olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Remove the pods from 2 lbs. of fava beans. While you’re doing the busy work, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch the fava beans for 3-4 minutes and cool in an ice bath.

When cool, pop fava beans out of their outer skin and reserve. At this time, preheat your grill to high.

Take care of the salad prep by thin-slicing 3 radishes. Juice 1 lemon and pick from the stems 1 cup of loosely-packed parsley leaves. Chiffonade (thin-slice) 2 T of basil while you’re at the cutting board for the fava beans. Reserve all.

In a small bowl, mix together 1 T of olive oil and the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. In another bowl, mix the radish and the parsley. Just before serving, mix with just enough vinaigrette to coat.

In a medium saute pan, heat 1 T of olive oil. Add 2 spring onions (I used scallions here) and saute for 1-2 minutes, until soft. Turn off the heat, add the beans and basil and season with salt and pepper.

Season 2 5-6 oz. filets of salmon with salt and pepper. Coat grill well with cooking spray and cook each fillet for approximately 6-7 minutes for medium, with one 90 degree turn in the middle for those awesome grill marks.

To plate: Put down half of the fava bean mixture. Place the salmon on top and then finish with a handful of the salad.

Salmon’s my least favorite fish, but I’m learning to love it because of fresh dishes like this one. The fava beans could be a meal on their own, and I plan to use them that way more often.

Adding the lemon with the salmon, and then the crisp salad on top is what makes this an entree, and what an entree it is. The lemon and the fish are classic together, but it  really isn’t complete without the crisp salad on top, which adds another layer  of texture to the dish.

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