Saturday, April 26, 2014

Asparagus Salad with Ricotta Salata, Fava Beans, Mint, and Farfalle

This salad is a celebration of spring. While limes are at a price premium now, the acid really brightens this salad and the zest adds a few beautiful green flecks. If you can't find ricotta salata, the author suggests that feta is a good substitute. I remember very early in my cooking on here (before I had a full appreciation of the amazingness of fresh mint) suggesting that you could skip the mint in an orzo salad. That was just crazy talk. Don't skip the mint here! This is a quick weeknight pasta salad.

One year ago: Creamy Lamb Meatballs
Two years ago: White Chocolate and Raspberry Tartlettes
Four years ago: Tomato and Olive Penne

Asparagus Salad with Ricotta Salata, Fava Beans, Mint, and Farfalle (from Melt)

1 cup shelled fava beans (1 lb in the pod)
10 ounces farfalle
1 lb asparagus, woody ends broken off, cut diagonally into 1" sticks
3 tbsp avocado oil, divided (or olive)
8 ounces ricotta salata, broken into small chunks
1/4 cup mint leaves, cut into chiffonade
juice and zest of 1 lime

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch the fava beans for 1 minute (or until they begin to float). Scoop out with a slotted spoon, rinse under cold water, and when they cool remove the outer skin. Do NOT discard the water.
2. In the same water, cook pasta until it's al dente. Drain and set aside.
3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp oil in saute pan over medium-high heat. Add asparagus, season with salt and pepper, and cook until asparagus is slightly blistered, 4 minutes.
4. Toss fava beans, pasta, asparagus, ricotta salata, mint, lime juice, and lime zest in a large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle with remaining 2 tbsp oil and serve.

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