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Farm to Table Recipe: Fava Bean, Onion and Pecorino Salad


Farm to Table Recipe: Fava Bean, Onion and Pecorino Salad

By Kelly Smith

Lots of farmers plant fava beans in the spring to introduce nitrogen and organic nutrients into the soil. Fava beans are in abundance in the March. You can find them at the year round Farmers' Markets in Sonoma County. Fava Beans are also known as broad beans or faba beans belong to the pea family. They are one of the oldest known crops in history and their wild origin are unknown. Archeologist remains found in Israel have documented cultivation during the Neolithic period (6800-6500 BC).  Fava beans can be used in many ways from spreads, sautéed, or even in soups.  

Fava Bean, Onion and Pecorino Salad


  • Kosher salt as needed
  • 1 1/2 pounds fava beans, shelled
  • 5 Tablespoons walnuts, chopped
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons walnut oil
  • 1 small red onion, quartered and thinly sliced 
  • As needed freshly ground black pepper
  • 7 large radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
  • 1/4 pound prosciutto, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 4 pieces Pecorino Romano cheese, shaved


  1. Bring salted to boil and cook fava beans until easy to peel, about 5 minutes. Drain, rinse, slip off skins. Set aside.
  2. Combine walnuts and walnut oil in mini-food processor into coarse paste. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Combine paste with fava beans, radishes, onions, sage, chives and salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with olive oil. Squeeze a little lemon juice on each serving and top with slices of cheese.