What, a watermelon salad! You must be kidding... This was my initial reaction to Nigella's recipe in Forever Summer. With its photogenic nature, this salad once proved a savior for a bland, watery melon. Here is my encore of this delicious recipe. It is a great marinated salad and works well for a picnic at the park.
This will be accompanied by a light pasta, chock full of basil and fava beans. I have been frequenting the farmers' market since April, mainly in search of these green beauties. The dried ones you find at Middle Eastern stores are not good enough. You have to seize this bounty before favas are out of season.
Pasta with fava and basil - adapted from Bon Appétit
2 cups shelled fresh fava beans
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
3 Tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Handful of fettuccine
4 Tablespoon freshly grated pecorino Romano cheese
Cook beans in large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer beans to large bowl. Reserve water in pot.
Combine 1 cup beans, 1/2 cup chopped basil and garlic in processor. Using on/off turns, process until beans are coarsely chopped. Transfer mixture to bowl with whole beans. Add remaining 1/2 cup basil, olive oil and fresh lemon juice. Stir to blend. Season bean mixture to taste with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in same pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot.
Stir 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid into bean mixture. Add to pasta. Add grated pecorino Romano cheese and enough remaining cooking liquid to moisten. Season pasta to taste with salt and pepper and serve.
Now off we go to eat under the stars.