Fava Bean, Pea, and Jersey Tomato Salad

fava bean salad

We’ve reached that wonderful part of summer when we still have access to spring crops, but the later summer crops, like vine-ripened tomatoes, are starting to appear in farmers markets and Co-Ops. Here in Philadelphia, most of our earliest tomatoes come from New Jersey, which is famous for their juicy fruits. Combining spring and summer produce, I put together this very simple, and very delicious, salad with fresh fava beans, snap peas, tomatoes, and red onion. You could also add fresh herbs with abandoned! It’s perfect for these days when the weather really begins to heat up.

Fava Bean, Pea, and Jersey Tomato Salad

fresh fava beans, steamed in their shells, and then pealed.

sugar spap peas, ends trimmed and strings pulled

some big juicy tomatoes, of any type, vine ripened and chopped

a large red onion, finely diced

Toss the vegetables together – only the favas will need to be cooked. To avoid refrigerating the tomato (which destroys its flavor and texture) you can put this salad together ahead of time, adding the tomatoes before eating.

Whisk together a vinaigrette of good quality olive oil, white wine vinegar, sea salt and fresh ground pepper, and the zest and juice of one lemon. I like to balance my vinaigrettes 1/3 oil to 2/3 acid (the vinegar and lemon juice) but some people prefer to reverse those proportions.

Pour the vinaigrette over the vegetables, add any chopped herbs that you enjoy (I suggest mint, parsley, basil, oregano, tarragon and/or sage) and toss. Let marinate at least 15 minutes before serving.

Noodles in a Bowl – cold summer noodle salads

I like noodles in a bowl. All kinds of noodles, with all kinds of toppings though, in general, I always lean towards spicy and savory and Asian influenced. One of the best ways to use vegetables is to pick diverse colors, flavors and textures, chop them up, and throw them into a bowl with some soba noodles. For the above noodle bowl I used all kinds of Spring green things I had from my CSA – radish greens, green onions, new garlic, cilantro, and shredded carrots. I lightly fried some local “fake” chicken from Nature’s Soy in sesame oil, and mixed everything with cold buckwheat soba noodless and a basic Asian noodle dressing:

2 Tbs. soy sauce
3 Tbs. rice wine vinegar
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. mirin (rice wine, substitute natural maple syrup, honey, or white wine)
chili sauce or flakes, to your liking

I also love the look of black roasted sesame seeds, and almost always add those, too for flavor and garnish. A perfect cold salad with endless variations! Cold vegan salads like these also travel well – make a giant bowl and take it to a picnic or potluck.

Cold Summer Zucchini Salad

I know that I’ve been slacking -its true. A trip to Toronto, a visit from my aunts, a visit from some other special someone, and now the flu and the past three weeks have been a whirlwind. But I’m back. I promise. Above, an easy easy salad that makes use of all the zucchini that has been appearing in my CSA, plus the tomatoes that are finally starting to roll in. I’ve long made a version of this salad, but I decided to use the recipe from this month’s Bon Appetit, and found the addition of lemon juice especially addictive. What this salad really needs, though, is perfectly ripe tomatoes, so add your own. And make sure to use a high-quality pecorino for the brightest flavor. In the last week, I’ve had this salad for lunch three times. That’s how much I like it. Give it a try!