Fava Bean Salad with Pecorino and Asparagus


Although only available selectively outside of the UK,  I’ve been able to catch Sophie Dahl’s six-part cookery series The Delicious Miss Dahl on YouTube. Maybe, as with my liking for fellow Brit chefs Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson, it’s due to her relatively modern take on traditional British fare that is anything but bland and tasteless, as British food is widely alleged to be.  I also can’t help but have become entranced by her sheer likability and girlishess (yet not in that high school cheerleader way), her delightfully antique kitchen, and the bit about her being Roald Dahl’s granddaughter (she is surely the envy of children everywhere).  Sophie’s recipe for this vegetable-heavy salad combines asparagus and the Fava bean, the oft-forgotten jock cousin of the sweet pea. If the abundance of vegetables scares you away, the mixture of olive oil and pecorino will trick your tastebuds enough to (at least) give it a try. Recipe below the pictures-enjoy!!


Picture 26



(Serves two)

  • 1 cup of baby asparagus tips
  • 1 cup of cooked fresh or frozen baby Fava (broad) beans, skins removed. If fresh, they will need to be blanched* to remove the skins. You can also use the same amount of drained and rinsed canned beans.
  • A small handful of fresh mint, finely chopped.
  • 3 tablespoons of good quality olive oil.
  • 1/2 cup of pecorino cheese, shaved.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.


1. Put the asparagus in a pan of boiling salted water and boil for 2-3 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water.

2. Place the beans and asparagus tips in a small salad bowl and add the mint. Pour on the olive oil and add some salt and pepper. Add the cheese.

*Blanch the beans for one minute.



  1. It’s such a shame BBC only gave Sophie Dahl one series. Her cooking was hearty and modern and her enthusiasm for food, literature and British eccentricity was excellent. This recipe is simple and elegant, and your photographs are stunning.

    1. Agreed! She’s such a well-rounded woman, which, as you pointed out, was clear on her show. I also loved how she featured food according to mood (we all can relate). Thank you very much!

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