Fresh Fava Bean and Mozzarella Salad

Fresh Fava Bean and Mozzarella Salad

Nothing quite compares to food fresh from the garden, and the fava beans and herbs in this salad came straight from my mom’s garden in San Diego.  She has a wonderful vegetable garden in her backyard that I enjoy touring and eating from every time I visit.

When we were checking out the garden on my last visit, my mom pointed out her fava bean plants and how loaded they were with big fat fava bean pods.   I told her about a fantastic fava bean and mozzarella salad that I had just had at Chez Panisse (we celebrated Graham’s birthday there recently).   We decided that it would be fun to try to re-create that salad and lighten the load on her fava bean plants.


Making this salad was truly a family affair.  We recruited my sister to help us remove the beans from the pods and once the beans were cooked, remove the shell from the beans.  Having never prepared fava beans before, we were a little surprised at how much prep there actually was.  The results were well worth it though.  The salad tasted like spring—fresh, delicate, clean and herby.   If you come across fava beans at your farmers market (or have them in your garden!), definitely give this salad a try.

Fava Bean Pods

Fresh Fava Bean and Mozzarella Salad

Inspired by a salad at Chez Panisse Café

We used a variety of herbs in this salad including, parsley, basil, oregano, and Cuban oregano.  Mint would be really nice as well.

  • 30-40 Fava bean pods
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh minced herbs
  • 8oz Fresh mozzarella
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Zest from 1 Meyer lemon
  • Squeeze of Meyer lemon juice

Remove fava beans from pods.  Blanch fava beans in boiling water for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and drain.  Pour fava beans into a bowl of ice cold water.  When beans have cooled, remove the other whitish shell from the beans (it gets easier with practice).  Mixed the shelled beans with a little olive oil, salt and the herbs.  Slice fresh mozzarella into thin rounds.  Place rounds on a serving plate and sprinkle with a little olive oil and salt.  Top the mozzarella with the fava bean mixture.  Garnish with a little lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Fresh Fava Bean and Mozzarella Salad

Tasty Easy Healthy Green Recipe Ratings:

Recipe Report Card Notes About Recipe Ratings

Tasty Rating


Four Chefs (Delicious!)

The family agreed, this was a tasty dish!

Easy Rating


Three Easy Chairs (Average Difficulty)

It takes a while to remove the fava beans from their pods and shells, but once that is done, putting together the salad is a snap.

Healthy Rating


Three Apples (Average Nutritional Quality)

Fresh mozzarella has some saturated fat, but is one of the lower fat cheeses.

Green Rating


Four Leaves (Mother Earth Approved)

The favas and herbs were very local and organic. I wish I could say that we got the mozzarella from the garden too, but alas it came from the store. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find organic fresh mozzarella either.
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2 comments to Fresh Fava Bean and Mozzarella Salad

  • Marta

    I was just staring at fava beans at the farmer’s market wondering, “What the heck do I do with these things?”

    Now I know – and will buy them next week!

  • Marta

    Sally’s description was perfect: this salad DOES taste like spring (or summer – I made this last week).

    The shelling the second time does take a bit of time and patience. But it’s the perfect thing to do with a family member as you chat. And surely easy enough for a kid to help with.

    Excited to have finally made fava beans!

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