I have been making this warm fava bean salad for so long that I don't remember the name of the cookbook where I first saw it. At that time there weren't even any food blogs - hardly a world worth living in! I barely knew how to cook anything in those days, and I thought this dish was incredibly fancy. In fact, it's the opposite of fancy, and that's what I love about it. The components - plum tomatoes, dill, garlic, oil cured black olives, feta, and, of course, those cute little fava beans - come together in one of those perfectly harmonious combinations that make you slap your forehead and exclaim, "Of course!"
This dish hinges on the fresh fava beans. You could use frozen if they're high quality, but whatever you do, do not go with canned beans. They have their place, but not here. Fresh beans are admittedly a bit more labor intensive, but they are worth every second. If you haven't worked with them before, it goes like this. First, you have to take them out of their pods:
Warm Fava Bean Salad
3-5 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3-4 plum tomatoes, quartered
6-8 ounces Greek feta, cubed and at room temerature
3 lbs fava beans, prepared in the manner described above (note: that weight is the weight in the pod, before you've shelled them)
1 large handful of fresh dill, chopped
10 or so oil cured black olives, pitted
salt & pepper, to taste
Combine the garlic and olive oil on very low heat in a deep skillet and allow the garlic to infuse the oil. Once fragrant, toss in the tomatoes and increase heat to medium low for about 30 seconds. Turn off the heat, add the rest of the ingredients, and gently toss to coat evenly with the garlicky oil. Go easy on the salt - the feta and olives have plenty! Serve this perfect warm weather dish with a hunk of rustic dark bread and a glass of wine.