Fava Bean Summer Salad with Lemony “Parmesan” Vinaigrette

Excerpted from Blissful Basil by Ashley Melillo

Serves 2–4 | 30 minutes or less

In July of 2011, Dan and I had the most delicious, veggie-filled lunch at ABC Kitchen while vacationing in New York City. If you haven’t been, allow me to paint a picture for you. The restaurant itself has an earthy yet ethereal vibe. Each dinner plate is different yet presents as if it were part of a cohesive unit, and the silverware looks as if it were retrieved from your grandmother’s collection of fine flatware. The tables, chairs, bar, and walls make the color white look brilliantly warm, and the crowd is effortlessly chic. The olive oil tastes as if it’s come from olives pressed, just once, through a sieve in the back, and the salt is literally freshly shaven from gigantic salt crystals before it’s brought to your table. Somebody pinch me! Is this real life?

ABC Kitchen is also home to one of the most memorable dressings I’ve ever tasted: a tangy lime and Parmesan vinaigrette that made my then-vegetarian knees buckle and inspired this plant-based, lemony version. Although the ingredient list is vastly different than the original, the flavor profile of this lemony “Parmesan” vinaigrette was inspired by that special lunch. It was a huge hit with my awesome recipe testers, none of whom were vegetarian or vegan at the time (although a few have since transitioned!), and many of them admitted to eating it by the spoonful or licking the food processor clean. I guess you could say this dressing is good on just about anything, but for this particular salad, it’s drizzled over shelled fava beans, baby arugula, and fresh herbs. If you can’t find fava beans, use shelled edamame instead (see note).

Lemony “Parmesan” Vinaigrette

3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
2 tablespoons raw almonds*
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons filtered water
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning

Fava Bean Salad

3 cups fresh or frozen shelled fava beans*
5 ounces baby arugula (about 4 heaping cups)
2 tablespoons chopped chives
2 teaspoons chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional)

For the Lemony “Parmesan” Vinaigrette

Add the nutritional yeast, almonds, and sea salt to a small food processor or high-speed blender and process or blend for 1 minute, or until the texture resembles a coarse meal. Add the water, champagne vinegar, lemon juice, and black pepper, and process or blend until emulsified. Transfer to an airtight jar and refrigerate until ready to assemble.

For the Fava Bean Salad

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Create an ice bath by combining a few cups ice and cool water in a large bowl. Set aside.

Add the shelled fava beans to the boiling water and cook for 1 minute. Use a large slotted spoon to quickly transfer the fava beans to the ice bath to halt cooking. Once they are cool, use the slotted spoon to transfer them to a large bowl, shaking off excess water. Peel the thin, waxy shell from the beans one at a time, and use a paper towel to gently pat dry.

In a large serving bowl, combine the fava beans, arugula, chives, and parsley (if using). Drizzle as much of the dressing over the salad as desired, toss to coat, season with freshly ground black pepper (if desired), and serve immediately.

No Nuts? No Problem | To keep this nut-free, swap out the raw almonds for raw shelled sunflower seeds.

Don’t Fret over Fava | If you can’t find fava beans, substitute shelled edamame. Boil the edamame just as you would the fava beans and start assembling. (There’s no waxy shell to worry about peeling, so you can skip that step altogether.)


  1. Brini Brennan said on

    Sounds delicious, but where’s the print icon?

    • Heather Butterfield said on

      Hello! We don’t have a print icon built into our site, but you should be able to print from whatever browser you’re using. Hope you enjoy!

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