Last weekend’s weather in Chicago was a little bit of everything—cold, warm, rain, sunshine and even snow. Deciding what to eat was a serious challenge. One moment I was craving a hearty bowl of soup, and the next minute I wanted something crisp, green and refreshing. I need to accept that we are in that back and forth gap between winter and spring.
Two pink-blossomed trees I saw in our neighborhood a couple weeks ago gave me hope, and at the grocery I spotted more encouraging signs in the produce section. Rhubarb, fava beans and peas! I could hardly contain my excitement, so I decided to make fava bean & pea fattoush, a seasonal version of a Middle Eastern bread salad with toasted pita.
Fava Bean & Pea Fattoush
2 whole-wheat pita rounds, roughly torn
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sumac
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1-1/2 pounds fava beans, in their pods
3/4 pound fresh peas, in their pods
1 scallion, sliced on the bias into 1/4-inch pieces
2 ounces baby spinach & arugula
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
Preheat the oven to 375 degree F.
Place the pita bread in a single layer on a sheet pan. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and half the sumac, salt & pepper. Bake 15-18 minutes until golden brown and toasted.
Remove the fava beans and peas from their pods. Discard the pods and keep the fava beans and peas separated.
In a large saucepan, cook the fava beans in boiling salted water for 3-4 minutes until tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to a medium bowl of ice water. Once the fava beans have cooled, remove their skins.
In the same saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the peas for 2 minutes until tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to a small bowl of ice water to cool.
In a large bowl, combine the fava beans, peas, scallions, baby spinach & arugula and parsley.
In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice with the remaining olive oil, sumac, salt and pepper. Toss the vinaigrette and lemon zest into the bowl with fava bean-pea mixture. Add the toasted pita bread. Season to taste.