A few years ago we ate at Cibrèo Ristorante in Florence. One of the many dishes we had at the start of our meal was this fresh salad of fava beans and cheese. Another of our favorite dishes from Cibrèo is their yellow pepper soup. We make it often for parties and chilly nights.
We made fava beans and Grana Padano (c/o) with our dinner while on our recent trip to Tomales Farmstead Creamery. We used our estate olive oil from Robert Sinskey Vineyards to drizzle over the dish. You’ll want to use really high quality olive oil here since it won’t be cooked, and it adds a lot of flavor to the dish.
- Boil a large pot of water. Salt the water heavily with French Gray Sea Salt or Kosher Salt. It should taste like the ocean. Add the fava beans and boil for 3-4 minutes until they just begin to soften. Then remove the beans from the pot and add to an ice bath or run under cold water to stop the cooking. When they are cool enough to handle, pinch the outer shell to release the inner bean. It's tedious, but it's worth the effort. They are so much more flavorful without the shell around them, even though it's edible.
- In a bowl, toss the beans, Grana Padano, pepper, and a drizzle of very good olive oil. Sprinkle with Maldon Sea Salt to finish.