Monday, June 30, 2014

Lentil, Fava Bean and Jicama Salad with Walnut Vinaigrette - My Legume Love Affair #72

It's summertime. For those cooks who are attempting to opt out of their hot kitchens for as many meals as possible, this recipe will come to the rescue. It requires only ten minutes at the burners, the time it takes to boil water and blanch some beans in it.  The rest is a quick chop job at the cutting board, and a pour of oil and vinegar.

Although fava beans can be conveniently added from a can, it is worth the finger fiddling to prepare the fresh, bright green ones directly from their pods.  The zipping, plucking, and pinching ritual is quite therapeutic, akin to snapping a sheet of bubble wrap, but without the guilty shame of admitting you are either stuck in your tenth year or having a really bad day.

You can serve this salad as a side dish to an omelette or grilled meat, but that would defeat its purpose. They don't call it slaving over a hot stove for nothing. ~

Lentil, Fava Bean and Jicama Salad with Walnut Vinaigrette - My own recipe 

Makes 4 filling, fiber-rich, complete-protein servings.


5 cups water
2 cups dried sprouted lentils (or other lentils that cook particularly quickly and retain their shape)
4 cups water
20 large, fresh fava bean pods
1 tablespoon flavorless oil (such as canola)
1 medium jicama, peeled and diced (or other crisp ingredient, such as celery)
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup walnut pieces
1/3 cup minced red onion
3 tablespoons walnut oil (or olive oil)
8 tablespoons champagne or apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste


In a medium saucepan, bring 5 cups water to boil. In another medium saucepan, bring the other 4 cups water to boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Add lentils to first saucepan. (My sprouted lentils were al dente in 6 minutes.)

Meantime, bend or press open stem end of bean pods to reveal thin string that runs length of pods.  Pull each string down to end of pod. Place a thumb in stem end and zip it down pod to open it.  Pluck out each bean in succession, collecting them in a bowl. Discard the pods and strings. Increase heat to boil simmering water in second saucepan. Tip beans in and boil for 5-7 minutes. Drain immediately and rinse them in cold water. The beans will be heavily wrinkled.

Remove cooked lentils from heat, draining if necessary.Tip into a large serving bowl. Stir in flavorless oil to prevent sticking and drying. Set aside.

Gently nick open each wrinkled fava shell with a tiny pinch at the smaller end. The shell will be very fragile, as will the bean inside. Pinch the opposite side of the shell to slip the bean out. Add each bean directly to the lentils, assembly-line style. You will develop an easy rhythm.

Add jicama, carrots, and walnuts to bowl, mixing gently to avoid breaking fava beans. Whisk red onion with oil and vinegar.  Pour dressing on salad. Add salt and pepper to taste.  For a touch of sweetness, you can add a handful of dried cranberries; for dairy, spoonfuls of soft goat cheese would be a twangy, musky complement.

This recipe is for My Legume Love Affair #72, which is being hosted by me for the month of June.  I will have the round-up online in a few days, including the announcement of the prize winner/s.

Special thanks to Lisa of Lisa's Kitchen for keeping MLLA going for all these months since I officially retired from the event. And thanks, of course, to all of you who have joined in not only for this month, but for all the years since 2008. As time has told, I am not the only one who loves legumes.

See you again in a few days!


  1. A beautiful salad and tasty combination! The kind of dish I could eat on a daily basis...



  2. lovely salad...I've been looking for something like this for my summer fasting. wud u like to link this to my healthy event?
    Ahlan Ramadan Event