Fava, Strawberry, Watercress Trifecta Salad

Fava Strawberry

OPENING BELL: Fava, Strawberry and Watercress are at the starting gate. They’re accompanied at the post by Balsamic, Pecorino and those dependably persistent also-rans, Salt and Pepper. But nobody is noticing those great flavors because all eyes and bets are on the three perennial babies of this springtime salad: Fava, Strawberry and Watercress. Olive Oil has scratched and Red Wine Vinegar is out to pasture. Their salad days are over.

And they’re off… Here on the outside comes Strawberry in a good position. But Watercress breaks out on top, while Fava is charging. The field is cluttered with ingredients at half a mile, but suddenly there’s a break in the mob and it’s Fava by a length, Strawberry and Watercress are neck and neck. They’re heading into the far side and the trio of veg are clearly dominating the field. Strawberry is bearing in for a late run rounding the Clubhouse turn, but Fava is biting the bit and proving he’s up for the challenge. In the home stretch Watercress pulls back and is holding in the third position. It’s Fava by a sprout in a blanket finish! Fava, Strawberry, Watercress Trifecta Salad.

Pays 18:1 and delivers a load of springtime flavor.

Fava, Strawberry, Watercress Trifecta Salad

I had to open with that (perhaps?) overly cute mock salad race because I realize that I’m proposing a rather unconventional combination. Fava, Strawberry and Watercress are not three flavors typically brought to you by my frenemy The Jolly Green Giant (in a frozen green cube). There’s nothing ho-ho-ho humdrum on this plate. This perfectly seasonal combination of sweet, sour, salty and rich isn’t a co-mingling that most folks would consider competitive, but I know that it’s a winning trifecta of flavor. GREG

Fava Strawberry SaladFava Strawberry Watercress

Fava Strawberry Salad with Watercress 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 6Source Inspired by California StrawberriesPublished
Fava Strawberry Salad


  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon mild white vinegar (such as Champagne)
  • ½ cup grape seed oil (or other mild flavored oil)
  • 2 cup shelled fava beans (about 4 pounds in the pods)
  • 2 cup fresh strawberries (washed, dried, stemmed and quartered lengthwise)
  • 1 small bunch fresh watercress (tough stems removed; washed and dried)
  • pecorino cheese (to taste)


In a small bowl, whisk together both vinegars and the olive oil until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper. This recipe makes just under 1‑cup, more than needed for this salad. Refrigerate the extra for another use.

Prepare an ice-water bath; set aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add fava beans, and cook 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to ice-water bath to stop the cooking. Drain fava beans and then pinch off the skins (you should have about 2 cups). Discard skins.

Add the fava beans, strawberries and watercress to a large bowl. Drizzle in vinaigrette to taste; toss to mix. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt a pepper.

Transfer the salad to a serving plate or divided among individual plates. Using a vegetable peeler, shave a few shards of pecorino over the top; serve immediately.