Fresh Recipe: Cracked Wheat Salad with Fava Beans

Cracked wheat salad - yum

Cracked wheat salad - yum

Hello all – my apologies for the recent radio silence.  Perhaps you will forgive me if I share with you the recipe for this yummy salad.

May is a busy month for Charlotte Fresh and Hubby as we’ve been entertaining family from out of town.  Yes, we did take them to pick what perhaps may be the last strawberries of the season and to visit the local markets.  (Word is that with all the recent rain, the strawberry season will be cut short.  But rest assured that blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are up next.  We will even have an early surprise crop of cling peaches from Pee Dee Orchards at Matthews tomorrow.)

As our visitors could see, so many fresh veggies are available in the CLT area; some of our guests traveled from zone 6 where they aren’t quite getting the produce that we are lucky to already have. If you haven’t quite gotten out there to take advantage of our zone’s early season, let me entice you with a look at the haul from the first week of our 2011 CSA with Carlea Farms. (We’re now on yummy week 3, revealing further my writing lag.)  The lettuces are so big, I expect a dimply doll to come popping out of them any minute now. (Recipes based on our CSA share to come.)

Carlea Farms CSA Week 1

Carlea Farms CSA Week 1

Whether you’ve got a CSA share or faithfully visit the local farmers’ markets every week, here’s a new recipe – tweak it and try out some of your different local finds.

Fresh Recipe:  Cracked Wheat Salad with Fava Beans

This salad is kind of like a Middle Eastern tabouleh.  I didn’t actually base it on tabouleh; the flavors and ingredients, including fava bean, were inspired by a bruschetta I had at the Harvest Moon Grille which I will tell you about another time.  I used fava beans from Windcrest Farm, mustard greens from Von’s Garden of Plenty, greenhouse tomatoes from Stumpf’s Gourmet Tomatoes, cilantro microgreens from Tega Hills Farm and green garlic from Carlea Farms.  I purchased bulk cracked wheat from Yafa market in Pineville.  Feel free to try the recipe with snow peas, edamame, farro, barley – whatever you may be interested in.

Fava beans should be removed from the pod and blanched for a minute or so.  Plunge them into ice water after blanching and peel the lighter skins off to reveal the deeper, tender green bean.

Fava beans removed from pod

Fava beans removed from pod

A fava bean blanched and cooled; pull off the lighter outer skin.

A fava bean blanched and cooled; pull off the lighter outer skin.

Check out Von's mustard greens

Check out Von's mustard greens

Here's what cracked wheat looks like.  You can sub farro, barley, couscous, etc.

Here's what cracked wheat looks like. You can sub farro, barley, couscous, etc.

Serves 2-4, depending on whether it’s a side dish or entree

  • 3/4 lb. blanched and shelled fava beans
  • 1 lb mustard greens, chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 green garlic bulb/stem – diced
  • 1 C cracked wheat
  • 2 C water, boiling
  • 3 sprigs mint, torn
  • 3 sprigs oregano, torn
  • 1 handful cilantro microgreens
  • 3 chives, minced
  • 2 springs parsley, minced
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Place the cracked wheat in a large bowl and pour the boiling water over it.  Cover for 30 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

Meanwhile, sprinkle salt on the tomatoes and let sit for 10 minutes.  Drain.

Saute the mustard greens and green garlic in olive oil until garlic is nearly clear and greens are just wilted.  Let cool.

When the cracked wheat is fluffed and ready, add fava beans, mustard greens, green garlic, mint, oregano, chives and parsley.  Add salt & pepper to taste, plus a dash of olive oil.  Toss lightly until evenly distributed.  Serve and top with cilantro microgreens.


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3 Responses to Fresh Recipe: Cracked Wheat Salad with Fava Beans

  1. Ahmed says:

    perfect yummy i love it

  2. Mary Roberts says:

    We are so glad you liked our fava beans! Your pictures on how these high protein beans are prepared are worth a thousand words. Favas have been in mankind’s diet for over 5,000 years but are not normally grown in our region because they like to mature in cool temperatures. We started our plants in a hoop house in Oct. and were able to harvest over 125 lbs. from a 42 ft. row early this spring. They are only available for a short time. Plan to look for them again next April.

  3. Tammy McLeod says:

    That looks delicious. I only just learned that you’re supposed to take the skins off of the fava beans.

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