Fava and White Bean Salad With Mint, Vanilla and Pistachios

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21/2 pounds fava beans in pod*

2 cups cannellini or other white beans, cooked and drained, or 1 15 ounce can cannellini beans

1/4 cup scallions, thinly sliced (12 scallions)

1/3 cup red bell pepper, diced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint plus additional mint for garnish

45 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 tablespoon lemon juice

pinch of sugar

1/4 teaspoon Rain’s Choice pure Vanilla Extract

Sea salt

Freshly ground pepper

2 (4-ounce) balls fresh mozzarella

1/41/2 cup chopped toasted pistachios

Whole butter lettuce leaves or shredded Romaine lettuce


Shuck the beans into a medium-sized pot. Cover with water and boil or steam the beans just until tender, about 7 minutes. Drain and cool the beans. Cut a nick in the bottom of the skin of each bean then, using your thumb and index finger, pop the inside beans from the skin. You should have 1-1/2 – 2 cups fava beans.

Place fava beans, white beans if using, scallions, red pepper and mint in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In a small bowl whisk 3 – 3-1/2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, vanilla extract, salt and pepper until well blended. Taste and adjust to taste. Pour dressing over bean mixture, then chill until ready to serve. Bring beans to room temperature before serving.

On a large plate, lay butter lettuce or shredded Romaine to create a bed for the bean mixture. Spoon beans over the lettuce and drizzle leftover dressing over all. Cut fresh mozzarella balls into rounds and arrange them around the salad. Season the mozzarella with a little more salt and freshly ground pepper, and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Scatter the chopped pistachios over the top and serve.