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imageThis recipe was inspired by a salad I ate at a little restaurant in Taormina, Sicily, a few years ago. It was served as a starter very simply with some crusty Italian  bread and was absolutely delicious. The saffron colors the dressing and the chilli adds just a little kick, while the addition of honey adds a beautiful sweet-savoury balance. Use fresh cooked and shelled fava beans (or frozen ones if you cannot find fresh ones). It takes about 3 minutes in boiling water to cook them. Then rinse in cold water and slip off the skins.
Fava beans are also known as broad beans.


Serves 4


1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon champagne vinegar
Pinch of saffron
1 teaspoon honey
5 tablespoons olive oil
175 g  / 6 oz artichoke hearts
450 g / 1 lb fava beans
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 teaspoon hot chilli flakes
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
Italian parsley, fresh, finely chopped


In a small saucepan mix the lemon juice, white vinegar and saffron and heat gently
Allow to cool
Slice the artichoke hearts and add to the dressing
Allow to marinate for at least one hour
Whisk in the honey and about 4 tablespoons olive oil
Heat some oil in a skillet and sauté the shallots until pale golden
Add the garlic and chilli and cook one more minute
Add the fava beans and toss to coat
In a serving dish add the artichokes, the pine nuts and the fava bean mixture
Season to taste and toss all gently
Sprinkle with parsley
Serve with crusty bread