Summertime Buckwheat Tabouli Salad with Farm-fresh Fava Beans

I love when the sun comes out in Seattle, especially when I'm heading to the farmer's market.  I once wrote on this blog that I have a little thing for scones (true - I got one today.), but I also have a little thing for farmer's markets.  Seriously. I wish I could go to one every day, every week and just take photos, talk to the vendors, try (+ buy) all sorts of farm-fresh goodness and hand-crafted incredibles.  But so is life and I can't meander between market booths for all of it.  Some of it please?  Yes; like yesterday!  Since moving to Seattle I've hit my fair share of markets (Seattle is so crazy wonderful about supporting the farm-to-table and local movements so markets are EVERYWHERE and a few are even year-round!)  I usually go to either the U-District, Ballard or Lake City markets, but yesterday I decided to check out the Edmonds Farmer's Market which I've heard is one of the best.

I see what the accolades are about.  Set amidst a charming (nearly) water-side town, the farmer's market spills out into the streets of Edmond where the mom + pop's intermix with the main staples like Starbucks and the eclectic storefronts co-mingle with the posh.  I found myself meandering thru downtown first and picking up two great dishes from a 50% off sidewalk sale that I figured would make great accents to my food photos...coming soon to a computer screen near you of course!  At the market were berries, peaches and plums galore, but I couldn't bring myself to buy any now that I've discovered my own private blackberry and plum picking spots in the neighborhood...there is something so instinctly wonderful about being able to pick your own food - I cannot wait to have a HUGE garden someday!  Sorry, side note there.  Back to the market!  There was a plethora of stands marked not only by farms, but also tummy-tempting food vendors and incredible artisan booths like Forest Life Creations!  Dean is a wood maker who creates these truly beautiful and one-of-a-kind earrings out of reclaimed wood - super (super) cool.  I ended up taking home two gifts that I can't wait to give...

Of course I did have to pick up my fair share of veggies and my favorite farm stand was for sure Frog Song Farms.  Not only were the people great but the veggies were just displayed so beautifully!!!  I grabbed lemon cucumbers which I found out taste just like a regular English cucumber - very crisp with a delicate sweetness; radishes and mini heirloom tomatoes that were seriously some of most flavorful I've had in a while - they had this subtle richness with each offering its own unique bite - yum yum yum!!  All of course made perfect additions to this salad, including the pound of fava beans I eyed just as I was leaving the market which ultimately became the inspiration for last night's dinner...see below and enjoy!

Summertime Buckwheat Tabouli Salad with Farm-fresh Fava Beans

This recipe calls for fresh fava beans which I learned today are a tad bit time-consuming to prepare, but nonetheless totally worth it as Fava Beans lend a mellow, slightly meaty and nutty addition to any dish.  Super yum, but I found out the hard long way that Fava beans actually have two shells – the outer pod and then a waxy layer that encases each individual bean inside - hence the additional labor of love required for the recipe.   I have basic instructions below on how to prep these demanding little suckers, but here is more detailed directions along with a video should you want more!  You can always swap out fresh with frozen fava beans or try using your favorite bean variety-  lentils would be especially delish!  Also, please note that fava beans contain high amounts of tyramine which may be hard for your body to process if you are taking any sort of MAO inhibitor like antidepressants, even herbal remedies like St. John's Wort included.

INGREDIENTS 1 cup buckwheat 1 cup cucumber, chopped ¼ cup red onion, chopped ½ cup radishes, chopped 1 bunch parsley, finely diced 1 cup fava beans, cooked 1 cup heirloom tomatoes, chopped 1 cup swiss chard, spinach or kale, finely shredded 1 garlic clove 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil

Optional add-ins: Roasted sweet potato, carrot, avocado, mint

Dressing of choice, or simply drizzle with olive oil and fresh-squeezed lemon, lime and/or orange

METHOD

Soak buckwheat in water for 1 hour; then rinse, drain and add to pot of boiling water. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes until water is absorbed, set aside to cool.  Meanwhile to prepare the fava beans, remove the beans from the pods (when you open the pods you'll notice an almost velvety surface inside that holds the little (ahem, big) fava beans which are encased by a second waxy layer that is removed by blanching the beans.  Blanch for 30 seconds and Immediately transfer to cold bath or rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process.  If you don't do this you'll learn the hard way (like me) and spend 20 minutes just trying to peel off the beans' outer coating...I may have overcooked my fava beans a bit, but they were still delish!  Set aside the beans.

Combine all vegetables in bowl except fava beans, garlic and olive oil.

In a saucepan, sauté fava beans with olive oil and garlic for 2-4 minutes.

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Add fava beans and buckwheat to vegetables and stir until well-combined.

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Drizzle with olive oil, lemon and orange or top with your favorite dressing - Enjoy!

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RecipesJamie Wagener