This salad is very hearty and perfect for your meatless lunch or dinner on its own or with something on the side. I wanted to create a dish featuring the fresh Fava(broad beans) beans I grew in my garden. I had fennel growing in my garden as well so of course I had to incorporate it in there too! I used a Chioggia beet in the salad. They have beautiful stripes and are a lovely pinkish fuchsia colour. I definitely recommend using fresh grown beans in this salad. Fava, also known as Broad beans are loaded with protein and nutrients and are sweet and delicate in flavour. Try them once and you'll fall in love! Shelling them and peeling off the skin takes the most time but the rest of the salad comes together in no time. As for the beets, I prick them with a fork and roast them in a 400 degree F oven for about an hour until they are firm but tender.
Shell your fava beans and blanche them in boiling water for 1 minute. Remove them from the boiling water with a large slotted spoon and place them in an ice bath to cool. Once cooled remove the outer skin on each bean. Discard the skin and set the beans aside. If the beans are really small you can skip this step.
In a medium bowl whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together and add the fava beans, fennel and celery. Toss gently. Add the basil, pecorino and pre roasted and cooled beets and serve. This salad is best eaten within 24 hours.