For a fresh take on salad, try a cold rice salad instead of the same old lettuce recipe. Rice and fava beans are a perfect match in this Italian recipe. The lemon vinaigrette and zest are the acidic punch that brings the dish a gourmet touch.
Fresh favas & fresh cooked short grain rice are topped with some fresh scallions too for the final pop of flavor. It is best made in spring or summer when fava beans are in season. They will be easy to find in grocery stores, Italian markets, or farmer's markets.
This salad recipe is so hearty it can even be a main dish option, especially for a light lunch along with my amazing homemade CIABATTA BREAD recipe. Or serve it with a bowl of Roasted Cherry Tomato Soup for the best Italian soup & salad combo.
Does Rice Go with Fava Beans
There are many rice and bean recipes that are classic and part of many cultures. This dish is a different take on the Venetian classic dish, Risi e Bisi (rice and peas). It is traditionally made with fresh spring peas, so why not with fresh spring fava beans?
The results are enticing but not entirely unique. I got the inspiration for this dish from a traditional Persian dish called baghali polo which is rice and favas layered with dill.
The main ingredients also bring together many different nutrients to help with a diet that is not just healthy and low fat but also delicious.
How to Shell, Cook, and Peel Fava Beans
Learning how to prepare fresh fava beans is easy but it is a labor-intensive process. However, it is worth all the effort. Fresh fava beans are far superior to dried ones. If you grow your own like we do or find them in your stores or farmer's markets, I highly suggest you buy some. Then be ready to enjoy them and want them every spring.
The steps for preparing fresh fava beans in summary are:
- Shell them from their pods
- Blanch them to make tender
- Shock them in cold water to loosen the skins
- Peel the skins off to expose the bright green beans
I have outlined all the steps you need to know on how to prepare fresh fava beans.
How to Make a Cold Rice Salad
It starts off with fresh cooked long-grain white rice. Prepare this in whatever method you like best whether stove-top, instant pot, or in a rice steamer.
While the rice is cooking; shell, cook, and peel the fresh fava beans. Above is the link to how you do that step-by-step. The process will take about 30 - 45 minutes.
Make the Rice Salad Dressing
Once the rice is cooked, keep warm. Add the lemon vinaigrette ingredients in a bowl, mason jar with a lid, or pourable container. Whisk, stir, or shake together the olive oil, lemon juice, dijon mustard, salt, and pepper.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl combine the cooked rice, fresh fava beans, and lemon vinaigrette. Add salt and pepper, then stir gently to combine. Sprinkle the scallions on top and zest the lemon over the salad as a final step.
Serving & Storing Suggestions
Enjoy! This rice dish is tasty and served cold or warm. It makes for a great picnic, potluck, or tailgate recipe. It is easy to pack it up and travel with it too since this rice salad doesn't get soggy or wilt like other salads.
It stores well and lasts for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving and you may need to add additional dressing to bring it back to life.
If you love chilled rice recipes you will also love my Antipasto Rice Salad. It is packed with Italian ingredient favorites like salami, mozzarella cheese, olive, & artichoke hearts.
Nutritional Value of White Rice
One cup (158 grams) of cooked long-grain white rice:
- Calories: 206 calories
- Carbs: 45 grams
- Fat: Less than 1 gram
- Protein: 4 grams
- Fiber: less than 1 gram
- Folate: 23% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Manganese: 37% of the DV
- Selenium: 17% of the DV
- Thiamin: 17% of the DV
- Niacin: 12% of the DV
- Iron: 11% of the DV
Nutritional Value of Fava Beans
A half-cup (80 grams) of cooked fava beans offers:
- Calories: 93 calories
- Carbs: 16 grams
- Fat: Less than 1 gram
- Protein: 7 grams
- Fiber: 5 grams
- Folate: 20% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Manganese: 18% of the DV
- Copper: 11% of the DV
- Phosphorous: 10% of the DV
Fava are so nutritious that you should cook with them whenever you can. I love them with pasta in my Creamy Pesto Pasta with Fava Beans recipe.
Product Recommendations for this Recipe:
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Cold Rice Salad
- rice cooker
- 1 C long-grain white rice
- 1 C fresh fava beans cooked & peeled
- 3 TB scallions minced
- 2 teaspoon lemon zest
- salt & pepper
For the Vinaigrette
- 3 TB olive oil
- 2 TB fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- dash black pepper
- Cook the white rice by your usual method, via stovetop or rice cooker for instance.
- While the rice is cooking prepare the fava beans, see above and link on how to shell, cook, and peel fresh fava beans.
- Let the rice cool slightly but you still want it warm so it absorbs some of the vinaigrette and becomes more flavorful.
- In a medium-sized serving bowl add the cooked rice and fava beans.
- In a small bowl whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients. Pour over the rice and fava beans. Stir gently to combine.
- Add the scallions and the lemon zest, stir lightly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately while still slightly warm or cold.
- This can be stored in the refrigerator for about 5 days. Bring to room temperature before serving and you may need to add additional dressing to bring it back to life.
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 11.6g||15%|
|Saturated Fat 1.8g||9%|
|Total Carbohydrate 59.8g||22%|
|Dietary Fiber 10.3g||37%|
|Total Sugars 2.6g|
|Vitamin D 0mcg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.|