Broad beans in basil dressing (Fassoulia bel-salata)

Here is the breakdown of our mountain residence household by nationality: mom and dad, Lebanese (2); cousins, Danish (6); moi, son and daughter, American (3); son’s buddy and co-worker, Dutch (1); staff, Filippino (3); gardener, Egyptian (1); brother, wife and kids, French/Lebanese (4).

As a result of this convoluted set-up, tempers have flared more than once; for a bit of  serenity, I head to the garden or the kitchen.

Today, I had a long conversation in the garden  with Salah, who is Egyptian; he told me that he was in reality a Jew from Albanian extraction; said he looked up his family on Google; (post coming up on him!)

He also showed me plants in the garden I did not recognize, like a huge bush of lemongrass; pointing at the lemon verbena bush, he said ” this is what we call the best cure in our world!” According to him, an infusion will cure stomach ailments and restore strength.

At dinner tonight, a big bowl of these garden broad  beans dressed in a basil sauce.


  • 1 pound of broad beans
  • 1 white  onion, chopped fine
  • Dressing: a handful of fresh basil leaves, a couple of cloves of garlic, 3/4 cup of olive oil, juice of 2 lemons, salt to taste.


  1. Boil the beans in a lot of water; add to the water a bay leaf and a sprig of lemongrass, if you wish and it is available.
  2. Peel the beans (optional step)
  3. In a blender, place the basil leaves, olive oil, mashed garlic, salt and lemon juice; process for a few seconds. Pour onto the beans and serve.

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  1. Posted July 26, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Delicious beans and it is my favorite.

  2. Posted July 26, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    what lovely salad and lovely eggsplants! gloria

  3. Posted July 26, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    In this case “Citizens of the world” takes its true meaning. This salad looks very refreshing. We make a similar salad here.

  4. Posted July 26, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    that looks so healthy and delicious!

  5. Posted July 26, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    You are still on vacation! You are so lucky. Love reading about all your adventures.

  6. Posted July 26, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like a UN conference happening over there on the mountain :)
    Good food can always bring people of any nationality closer together!
    I don’t remember ever having fresh broad beans before. Your recipe looks perfect in its simplicity. Summertime, hot temperatures, delicious healthy salad, that’s a good combination.

  7. Posted July 26, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    I bet it’s really nice to have a place as lovely as your garden to go to for serenity.

    Delicious looking salad! It looks like it’s full of fresh, bright flavors.

  8. Posted July 26, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    simple but flavorful recipe, I love recipes l like this…fresh and tasty


  9. Posted July 26, 2010 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    i love that it’s such a simple, yet refreshing salad. Looking forward to read more about this special guest!

  10. Posted July 26, 2010 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    How wonderful and fresh and healthy! I love the light dressing. And can;t wait to hear the stories about Salah!

  11. Posted July 26, 2010 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    very nice to eat and talk together…..should be fun to have the opportunity to speak with people from different backgrounds,your beans looks so tasty and full of freshness, have a nice day…

  12. Posted July 27, 2010 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    wow, thats quite an international family :), nice and simple salad, beautiful lookin eggplants , have a nice day

  13. SYLVIA
    Posted July 27, 2010 at 1:28 am | Permalink

    Joumana, thank you for sharing your natural mountain recipes with us, this is very refreshing and a tasty salad, it’s the type of salad that makes you feel full more quickly, because of the fiber content, and is perfect for people who are trying to control their weight. I love that tasty creamy texture of the fava bean. Great!!

  14. Posted July 27, 2010 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    What a lovely garden and good to know about the lemon verbena! I love home remedies like that,.

    I’ve never had broad beans before but that dressing sounds delicious!

  15. Posted July 27, 2010 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Hi Joumana,
    Wow, that’s some mix of nationalities in one family and household! All the more reason to cook delicious meals and keep the peace.
    I love this recipe, so simple. Plus anything with garlic and olive oil gets a star from me from the outset. I use a similar dressing on fish and it works a treat too.
    Greetings from Gib,

  16. Posted July 27, 2010 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    That ethnic mix must make for creative and delicious dining and interesting conversations! My garden is my sanctuary too and I love when I can pick a vase of flowers or eat a vegetable that I’ve grown myself. I’ve never had broad beans myself but love the lovely shades of green of the beans and basil. They look delicious!

  17. Posted July 27, 2010 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    I so love fresh broad beans aka fava beans!!

    This salad looks so refreshing & ooh so tasty too!

  18. Posted July 27, 2010 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    We call them Fassolia too! Bean salads are light, quick and good either warm or cold. I’m loving the international dynamic of your abode.

  19. Posted July 27, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    What an international group!

    I love how simply the broad beans were prepared, highlighting the fresh flavor of the bean. The dressing sounds marvelous, too. Lemony, just the way I would like it.

  20. Posted July 27, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    What a big and international family!
    Joumana, do you mean fava beans? Or is it a different bean, than fava? Simple but delicious.
    In general, I like all the beans. Summer baby fava beans are very popular in Poland and I can eat them all the time. I can eat them just boiled, sprinkled with olive oil or with melted butter, without herbs or with herbs, reduced into puree …
    Today I bought a local seasonal specialty – baby white beans ( I am not quite sure about their name in English), which are still green inside, so you do not have to soak them in water before boiling.

  21. Posted July 27, 2010 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    Oh ben dis donc, il y a du monde à la maison! c’est toujours sympa de se retrouver en famille sous le même toit, mais il faut une grande maison! ces petites salades toutes fraîches sont parfaites quand il fait chaud, j’adore les fèves.

  22. Posted July 28, 2010 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    I LOVE bean salads, and have so much fresh basil in my garden, that this fresh and delicious looking dish is a must for me to try. Thanks for sharing! -S

  23. Posted July 28, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    I’ll have to try it with basil and garlic. I’ve had mint and that is good. I just got purslane from the farmer’s market for the first time and am loving it! I remembered your post. ; )

  24. Posted July 28, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    i love all beans, but the meatier they are, the better, and broad beans are quite possibly the meatiest! :)

  25. Posted July 28, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    I enjoy broad beans…now I have another new way to eat them.

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