Fresh Fava Bean and Summer Vegetable Salad

fava bean salad - trust in kimfava beans - trust in kim

This winter I saw a few recipes that called for fresh fava beans, but I’ve never been able to find them in a store, so I chose this to be one of my experimental crops in my community garden this year.  They are a bit of work to shuck and peel, but they are so tender and delicious.  I think I’ll be growing them again next year to try out a few of the other recipes.  This salad capitalizes on the availability of fresh vegetables in the summertime, at the peak of their flavour.

What you need:

  • about a pound of fava beans in their shells
  • one cob of fresh corn, cooked and the kernels cut off
  • a few small cucumbers or half a large one
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup lightly toasted walnuts
  • your favourite vinaigrette or this one:
  • 1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • a little salt and pepper
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil

What you do:

  1. Toast the walnuts a little and let them cool.  I do this is a frying pan, tossing often and watching them carefully so they don’t burn.
  2. Cook the corn and let it cool. You can boil it for just a few minutes or grill it.
  3. While the corn and nuts are cooling down you can prepare the fava beans.  Begin by boiling a large pot of water.  Remove the beans from their pods, then boil for 2 & 1/2 to 3 minutes; less time for smaller beans.  Drain then cool down right away in a bowl or sink full of cold water; ice water is even better.
  4. Now comes the labourious part – remove the skin from each bean. Make sure you’re listening to some good music and the time will pass quickly.
  5. Mix the vinaigrette ingredients and pour some of it over the sliced red pepper to mellow the flavour a little. Let this sit for about 20 minutes.
  6. Slice the cucumbers as thinly as you can, with a mandoline.
  7. Combine the cooled fava beans, corn, cucumbers, and the onion with its dressing.  Toss lightly, then add more dressing if you think it is needed; I liked it best lightly dressed.
  8. Top with the toasted nuts just before serving.

 

Slightly Homemade French Onion Dip

Slightly Homemade French Onion Dip - trust in kim

Sometimes there just isn’t enough time to do it all.  I have a lovely, time-consuming recipe for a French onion dip  made from scratch.  But this one is for when you need a little something to go with the veggies and you’re short on time.  I make my recipe with yogurt, but other people use sour cream and mayo, so feel free to use those if you wish.  I prefer it to be a little healthier, hence the yogurt, plus  think it tastes really good this way.

What you need:

  • plain yogurt (homemade recipe here) I use 3.5% fat
  • packaged dry onion soup mix
  • a little red onion
  • cheesecloth for straining (optional)

What you do:

  1. If you’re really in a hurry you can skip this first step; your dip will just be a bit more watery.  In this case it might be good to use a little sour cream or mayonnaise to mix with the yogurt. Here’s what you do: Place a sieve above a bowl and line the sieve with cheesecloth.  Put about 1 & 1/2 cups of yogurt into the cheesecloth.  Place in the fridge and drain the yogurt for an hour, or longer if you have time. You may need to remove some liquid from the bowl during the draining process.
  2. Finely chop some red onion (a few tablespoons).  Remove the yogurt from the cheesecloth and put it in a bowl; add some of the red onion, reserving a little for a garnish.
  3. Add some onion soup mix to taste, a little at a time.
  4. Garnish with some more red onion.
  5. Serve with veggies and/or chips.

Corey’s Amazing Mango Salsa

I was treated to an amazing feast recently!  This salsa was so fresh and tasty, brought to us by guest blogger Corey Knott.  He served it with tilapia, which paired perfectly with it.  Corey started with fabulous fresh ingredients, highlighted by the best mango I’ve ever tasted, and the most beautiful.

What you need:

1 ripe mango, diced

1/2 red onion, diced finely

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

juice of 3 limes

1/2 a bunch of cilantro, chopped

What you do:

1.  Combine all the ingredients and… it’s ready to go!

Black Bean and Corn Soup

This is my new favourite soup recipe –  hot sauce makes it a little spicy, corn adds a little sweetness, and a there’s a ton of flavour in here.  Some of the soup is pureed, but there’s lots of colour from the remaining vegetables.  Topped off with a little yogurt, it tastes decadent.

What you need:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 red onion, chopped

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 red pepper, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon cumin

1 – 398 mL can of diced tomatoes

5 cups black beans, cooked (about 1 & 1/2 cups dry)

6 cups vegetable broth

2 – 341 mL cans of corn

salt and pepper

hot sauce

plain yogurt

1 lime

What you do:

1. If you are cooking your own beans, place them in a pot of boiling water, bring back to a boil and cook for a few minutes.  Turn heat off and soak for about two hours.  I like to drain in the middle of the soaking time and bring back to a boil – this helps ward of the gas causing properties beans can have.  The last step is to rinse, then bring the beans back to a boil, then lower the heat and cook until soft.  This shouldn’t take too long.

2.  Heat the olive oil and add the onions, garlic, peppers and carrots.  Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.

3.  Add the oregano, cumin, beans, tomatoes and broth.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for about half an hour.

4.  Puree about a third of the soup.  I just put my immersion blender in and blended until I thought it looked good.

5.  Add the corn, along with its juice, and cook just long enough to heat through.

6.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

7.  Top with a big dollop of yogurt and some hot sauce.  Serve with a wedge of lime to squeeze on top.

Palak “Paneer” aka silken tofu

I’ve had this recipe in draft mode for months because I can’t seem to get a picture that makes it look as appealing as it truly is.  So now I’m going to be okay with the photo, and just let you know that it’s so good – it’s vegan comfort food.

Paneer is a fresh cheese you can make at home with milk and lemon – the silken tofu does a great job of representing the creamy, almost melty texture of paneer.  Tofu will also satisfy your umami cravings – umami is known as the fifth or savoury taste, which is often satisfied by meat.  Tofu also contains the compounds that the taste buds register to satisfy the savoury cravings.  Maybe that’s why this one seems like comfort food to me.

You need:

2 red onions

1 garlic clove

3 small green chillies

2 cm piece of ginger, grated

5 tablespoons vegetable oil (butter if you eat dairy)

500g/2 bunches spinach

1 teaspoon cornstarch or tapioca starch

1 block soft silken tofu (the “paneer”)

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon garam masala

1/4 or more cups plain yogurt

salt to taste

What you do:

1.  This is great served on Brown Basmati Coconut Rice, so you’ll want to start that first.  White rice won’t take as long, so if you’re using that you don’t need to start it yet.

2.  Put onions, garlic, chillies and ginger in food processor or blender.  Process until smooth.  You may need to add a little water.

3.  Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil/butter in a large frying pan, then cook the spices on medium heat until fragrant.  Add the other 3 tablespoons of oil/butter and the onion paste,  cooking for about 10 minutes.

4.  Cook the spinach until wilted and add to the food processor along with the cornstarch and puree it.  Add the spinach, along with about 1/2 teaspoon of salt, to the paste. Bring it to a boil and cook for about two minutes.  At this time have a taste and see if it needs more salt; it probably will.

6.  Cut the tofu into squares and add it to the pan to heat it.  Once it is hot, stir in the yogurt carefully so the tofu doesn’t break too much, and serve right away.

I enjoy this one for leftovers too!

You can substitute the spinach with swiss chard if you like.