I’m celebrating spring. In the Bay this year, the only difference between “winter” and “spring” has been the local foods at the market. And it has been so warm everything is coming in and out a little early than usual: asparagus is going, gone, while strawberries are in full swing. And while my dad’s garden in central NY is still covered in a light coat of snow, I’m going to take full advantage of the ridiculous growing season in CA (come visit, Dad?).
The ingredient that inspired this dish are the gorgeous little bunches of chives that I got from Happy Boy Farms. The ones that are beginning to flower are too tough to eat, but man they look gorgeous. And I have been meaning to make another “bowl” (my Quinoa, Tempeh & Avocado Bowl is still a weekly favorite at my house). What better way to get a spring fix than by putting all the fresh ingredients you can fit into a big bowl and covering it in your favorite dressing? And combining all the elements – complex carbs, veggies, protein, and fat – is the quickest way to make a delicious, easy dinner.
The fresh fava beans take a little work here – shelling them of their green pods as well as their thick outer shells – but all the other ingredients come together quickly and with a simple preparation in order to highlight their freshness.
- 8 oz (two bundles) buckwheat soba*
- 2 lb. fava beans
- 1 cup fresh peas (or frozen)
- 1 cup fresh strawberries, rinsed and diced
- mint leaves for garnish
- 3/4 cup chives
- 1/4 cup lemon juice or rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sweet white miso
- 2-3 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon agave or honey
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add the extra tablespoon or more of water to make a pourable sauce.
- Remove the fava beans from their green pods and rinse. Cover with boiling water. When the water has cooled, remove the beans from their tough outer shells using a paring knife to cut a small slit on the edge and squeezing from the opposite end so the bean pops out.
- Prepare the soba. Bring a pot of water to boil and add the noodles, boiling for 4-5 minutes or until desired texture. (Or cook to package directions).
- Meanwhile, cook the peas** and fava beans. Pour a few inches of water and a couple pinches of salt into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add the fava beans and peas (if they are tender and sweet, throw them in right at the end) and gently boil for 3-5 minutes or until tender. Drain. Mix with a dash of olive oil.
- Top the noodles with sauce, favas, peas, strawberries, and mint leaves. Or mix the sauce in with the noodles, peas, and beans in a big bowl, plate, and then top with the strawberries and mint leaves.
- *Traditional soba is buckwheat only, but oftentimes American soba is made partially with wheat flour. If cooking gluten-free, be sure to read the ingredients list.
- **If using frozen peas, be sure to cook separately according to package directions.