Recipe from Ciao Italia Family Classics
Fava beans, both fresh and dried, are a Mediterranean staple and have been for centuries. Mostly boiled and dressed with olive oil and served with salt, fava beans are also mashed for a spread atop bread, or added to casseroles, soups and salads. And even though the beans are associated with humble cooking, they take on gourmet significance when wrapped in easy-to-make Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese cylinders for a great presentation.
1. Heat a nonstick medium sauté pan. Spread ½ cup of the cheese in the pan to form a rectangular strip that is 2 inches wide and 6 inches long. Allow the cheese strip to melt, then carefully remove from the pan, wrap the strip around a glass and allow it to cool. Make five more and set aside.
2. Whisk the olive oil and vinegar together. Add the garlic, shallot and tarragon, and whisk again. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and set aside. (The dressing can be made ahead of time and refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature to use.)
3. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Add the fava beans and cook them until you can easily slip off the outer skin. Drain and transfer to a bowl. When cool enough to handle, slip off the outer, pale-green skin to reveal the bright green bean beneath.
4. Add the fava beans and celery to the olive oil mixture and toss well. Allow to marinate for 30 minutes.
5. When ready to serve, place one of the six cylinders of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese on each of 6 individual salad plates. Carefully divide and fill the center of each cylinder with some of the fava-bean mixture. Top each with a few shavings of cheese. Any left over fava-bean mixture can be scattered around each plate. Serve at room temperature.