Open-Face Fava and Egg Salad Sandwiches

Open-Face Fava and Egg Salad SandwichesPeas of Mind

Over the weekend I started getting my garden ready for the spring. I waterproofed the floor of my greenhouse, started my pumpkin and cantaloupe seeds, and planted the English peas that I had started a few weeks ago.

Because I have done this, we are now supposed to have a torrential downpour that will last for days starting on Wednesday. Had I known that I could make water fall from the sky by the bucketful just by working in the garden, I would have started at the beginning of January. Now I just have to hope that my plants will survive the beating.

This year I opted not to plant fava beans along with my peas, and I am now regretting that decision. After finishing in the garden and feeling rather pleased with myself, I sat down with my lemonade and Sunset magazine, and pretended that I was the kind of person who would normally be enjoying the spring-like weather while reading Sunset. (I really would like to be that person, who is a gardening bad ass, but it’s just not true. If I am successful it usually dumb luck.)

Anyway, while thumbing through the March issue, I spied a recipe that made me stop in my tracks. Open-Faced Fava and Egg Salad Sandwiches. What could say “The Winter produce doldrums are over!” better than that? It’s so simple, but the bright green color of the favas screams Spring, and the picture made my mouth water. After noting that it included a recipe for tabil by Kitty Morse, one of my favorite Moroccan cooking teachers, I knew I would have to try it. Now I will regret not having the fresh fava beans from the garden.

For now, I will sit back and be happy for the rain, and cross my fingers that my peas will survive…and wait for fresh favas to appear at the market.

Open-Face Fava and Egg Salad Sandwiches
Recipe adapted from Kitty Morse and 

Mashed favas and an exotic mix of spices give the familiar egg salad sandwich a makeover. North African–cookbook author Kitty Morse introduced us to the Tunisian spice blend called tabil, which is easy to make with ingredients that may already be in your pantry.

Fava Salad
1 1/4 cups double-shelled fava beans (see “How to Double-Shell Favas,” below)
2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Egg Salad
5 hard-cooked large eggs
1 garlic clove
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground New Mexico or California chile*
1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup mayonnaise
8 slices challah bread (preferably with sesame seeds), lightly toasted
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus whole leaves

Fava Salad*
In a bowl, coarsely mash the fava beans with a pastry blender. Stir in oil, lemon juice, and salt. Set aside.

Egg Salad
Peel and slice eggs, and set set them aside.

Tabil Mayonaise
Using a mortar and pestle, coarsely grind garlic, coriander seeds, chile, caraway seeds, and salt to make tabil. Stir in mayonnaise, mashing mixture a bit.

Generously smear one side of toasts with tabil mayonnaise. Arrange a layer of eggs on top, then spoon fava salad over eggs. Scatter chopped cilantro over sandwiches and garnish with cilantro leaves. Serve sandwiches open-face and eat with a knife and fork.

*How to Double-Shell Favas
Makes 2 cups 30 minutes
Tear open 3 pounds of fava pods. Add beans from pods to a pot of boiling salted water and return to a boil.

Cook just until beans are tender beneath skin (slit to check), 2 minutes. Drain; rinse with cold water.

Peel leathery skin by tearing beans open at rounded ends and popping out beans.

Make ahead:
All but the final peeling, up to 1 day, chilled.

Elaine Johnson, Sunset | March, 2014
Photo: Iain Bagwell
Styling: Emma Star Jensen

Comments are closed.