Spring Salad with Fava Beans, Cacio Cheese and Hard Boiled Eggs

This time of the year is the season of vegetables: artichokes, peas, beans and fava beans. Markets are full of fava beans now, so, when I bought an entire box, I decided that they would be the perfect dish for Easter, together with some cacio cheese.

In Italy, fava beans and cheese are the perfect Spring match. Moreover, Easter is the season of eggs: chocolate eggs, but especially hard boiled eggs. Eggs are the symbol of birth and rebirth and they are strictly connected with the figure of Jesus and his resurrection. Many a Renaissance painter had represented eggs in their works of art, like Piero della Francesca, for instance, and their resurrection symbology is the reason why eggs are are such an Easter treat. According to the Catholic tradition, hard boiled eggs are brought by worshippers to church to be blessed by the priest during the Easter mass. These blessed eggs are then eaten by families during the Easter lunch. The eggs for this salad, that I served on Easter as an appetizer, are actually blessed eggs.
Balsamic vinegar and fresh thyme from my garden are a particularly savoury addition to this fresh seasonal salad.

250 g cacio cheese, diced
100 g mixed salad (lettuce, red leaf lettuce, arugula, romaine lettuce, spinach or whatever you choose)
1 cup fava beans
2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and cut into quarters
Sprig of fresh thyme
Extravergine olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Salt to taste

Serves 4 as an appetizer, 1-2 as a main course

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Season salad with salt, oil and balsamic vinegar according to taste.

Stir in fava beans and cacio cheese.

Place the salad in a large serving dish and place the quarters of eggs on top. Sprinkle with fresh thyme and serve.

Piero della Francesca, "Sacra conversazione" ("Pala Di Brera"), 1472, Milano, Pinacoteca di Brera

Insalata Primaverile con Fave, Cacio e Uova Sode

Questo periodo dell’anno è la stagione delle verdure: carciofi, piselli, fagioli e fave. I mercati e supermercati sono pieni di fave così, quando ne ho comprato una cassa intera, ho deciso che sarebbero state il piatto perfetto per Pasqua, insieme al cacio.
In Italia, formaggio e fave sono la perfetta combinazione primaverile. Inoltre, Pasqua è il periodo delle uova: uova di cioccolato, ma soprattutto uova sode. Le uova sono il simbolo della nascita e della rinascita e sono strettamente connesse con la figura di Gesù e la sua risurrezione. Molti pittori del Rinascimento hanno raffigurato le uove nelle loro opere d’arte, come Piero della Francesca per esempio, e la loro simbologia legata alla risurrezione è il motivo per cui sono diventate una caratteristica della Pasqua. Secondo la tradizione cattolica, le uova sode sono portate dai fedeli alla messa di Pasqua per essere benedette dal sacerdote. Le uova benedette sono mangiate poi durate il pranzo pasquale. Le uova di questa insalata, che ho servito come antipasto per il pranzo pasquale, sono in effetti uova benedette.
L’aceto balasamico e il timo fresco del mio giardino sono un’aggiunta saporita a quesa insalata primaverile.

250 g cacio tagliato a cubetti
100 g di insalata mista (lattughino, lattughino rosso, rucola, romana, spinacino)
1 tazza di fave sgusciate
2 uova sode, sbucciate e tagliate in quarti
Un rametto di timo fresco
Olio extravergine di oliva
Aceto balsamico
Sale q.b.

Per 4 persone come antipasto, 1-2 come piatto principale

Tempo di preparazione: 10 minuti

Condire l’insalata con sale, olio e aceto balsamico a seconda dei gusti.

Aggiungere mescolando le fave e il cacio.

Collocare l’insalata su un piatto da portata e posarvi le uova sode tagliate a spicchi. Condire con timo fresco e servire.

  1. Lovely! Were your fava beans already peeled and shelled? It took me for-ever to peel mine the other day. And all I was left with was like a handful. :-p Oh well…they were tasty!

    • Rita said:

      I peeled them. It took me a while but it was worth it. And as I had bought an entire box of fava beans, I had plenty of them!!! 😛

  2. Cindy said:

    It looks delicious, but what is cacio cheese?

    • Rita said:

      Right, I didn’t explain it… Cacio is a rather piquant and very savory ripe cheese made from sheep’s (sometimes goat’s) milk. I don’t think you can find it over there, but I suppose you can substitute it with something similar… 😉

  3. Sally said:

    I will have to look in the market for fava beans–we don’t see them too much here, but I bet the Middle Eastern market in my neighborhood will have them. I love the concept of eating eggs that have been blessed–what a lovely tradition–the food nourishes you on the spiritual and physical level. Thank you Rita!

  4. Lovely salad. I need to try to get fresh fava beans. I didn’t know the significance of hard-boiled eggs, will be looking at paintings differently. Thanks.

  5. I love boiled eggs in a salad, your salad looks delicious.
    I see Cindy asked the question I was going to ask.
    🙂 Mandy

  6. Eggs are symbolic to Catholic that’s why it was used for Easter. I even remembered there was one popular church in the Philippines that I have been to where people offer boiled eggs at the altar.

  7. Oh, lovely! I’m so enamored with fava beans.

  8. Beautiful looking salad! Sounds perfect for spring! I have never heard of cacio cheese before…

    • Rita said:

      Oh, well, cacio is a rather piquant and very savory ripe cheese made from sheep’s (sometimes goat’s) milk, but I think you can substitute it with any other kind of ripe cheese. 🙂

  9. Amanda said:

    Thanks for explaining the cheese, Rita, I hadn’t heard of it either. There are quite a few lovely looking fava recipes showing up on the Northern hemisphere blogs now – no good for those of us down-under, though. 😉

    • Rita said:

      Thank you so much!! I’m so excited!!! And honored!! Thanks, thanks, thanks!!! 😀

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