Spelt is a nutty-tasting grain that's similar in taste and texture to wheat berries. Look for it in health-food stores and the natural-foods aisle of large supermarkets. Once the fava beans are shelled, their tough outer skins need to be peeled; blanching and then rinsing the beans in cool water makes the skins easier to remove.
1/2 cup chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves
1/2 cup diced celery
1/3 cup dried currants
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
How to Make It
Place spelt in a large saucepan; cover with water to 2 inches above spelt. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 1/2 hours or until spelt is tender. Drain.
Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add fava beans; cook 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain. Remove and discard tough outer skins from beans.
Combine spelt, fava beans, tomatoes, celery, and currants in a large bowl. Combine vinegar and next 4 ingredients (through garlic), stirring with a whisk. Drizzle over spelt mixture; toss well to coat. Sprinkle with parsley.
This was unexpectedly good, especially for someone who doesn't like vinegar. My husband appreciated the meaty texture imparted by the fava beans, and at only 190 calories per cup, this makes for quite a hearty vegetarian supper! I didn't have parsley so I substituted cilantro and it turned out fine. Shelling the fava beans is rather time-consuming but these are quickly gaining a place next to edamame as my favorite legume. I would definitely make this for a pot-luck or family get-together.
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