Fennel-and-Fava-Bean Salad

Jayson Woodbridge uses wild fennel for this tangy, crunchy salad, but regular supermarket fennel works perfectly well, too. Slideshow:  More Fennel Recipes 

Fennel-and-Fava-Bean Salad
Photo: © John Kernick
Total Time:
1 hr



  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

  • 1 small garlic clove, minced

  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin seed oil

  • 2 teaspoons walnut oil

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil


  • 4 pounds fresh fava beans, shelled (3 cups)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1/2 cup pine nuts

  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 lemons

  • 5 medium fennel bulbs—trimmed, halved lengthwise, cored and very thinly sliced crosswise

  • 1 medium jalapeño, seeded and minced

  • Pinch of cayenne pepper


Make the Dressing

  1. In a very large bowl, whisk the honey with the lime juice, garlic and pumpkin seed, walnut and olive oils.

Make the Salad

  1. In a large saucepan of salted boiling water, blanch the fava beans until just tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Squeeze the favas from their skins; discard the skins.

  2. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the pine nuts and pistachios and cook over moderate heat, shaking the pan frequently, until the nuts are golden, about 5 minutes. Season the nuts with salt and black pepper and transfer them to paper towels to drain and cool completely.

  3. Using a very sharp knife, peel the lemons, being sure to remove all of the bitter white pith. Thinly slice the lemons crosswise. Pick out and discard any seeds, then cut the lemon slices into thin strips.

  4. Stir the lemon strips into the dressing. Add the fava beans, fennel, jalapeño, cayenne and toasted pine nuts and pistachios and toss. Season the salad with salt and black pepper and toss again. Serve the salad right away.

Suggested Pairing

A fresh and zesty unoaked Chardonnay.

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