Fava beans with olive oil, pecorino and lemon

Sanjay Acharya via Wikimedia Commons´╗┐

Beans are useful in lowering blood sugar levels and managing high cholesterol, according to Jampolis. And because they're loaded with fiber, beans can help induce that "full" feeling to help with weight loss.

Makes 6 servings

For a visually appealing presentation, top servings with very thin slices of pecorino, an Italian cheese made from sheep's milk. The aged cheese is firm and dry; the flavor is sharper than Parmesan. For convenience, make the salad using canned or frozen fava beans, which are available in ethnic markets and many supermarkets.

Beans and ham are a classic combination in Spain, so if you like, add strips of Spanish ham or prosciutto.

For the dressing

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
1 teaspoon lemon zest 
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
1 clove garlic, minced 
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the salad

One 19-ounce can fava beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup chopped red bell pepper 
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion 
Very thinly sliced pecorino cheese, freshly ground pepper, lemon wedges, and sprigs of fresh mint for garnish

Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the salad ingredients and toss. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

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