Corn and Fava Bean Taco Filling with Fresh Tomatillo Salsa


I know, fava beans are Mediterranean, not Mexican (though there are some wonderful soups made with dried fava beans in the state of Veracruz). But they’re so pretty and delicious with the corn, the texture soft and starchy against the juicy crunch of the corn kernels.

4 ears corn
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small red onion or spring onion, finely chopped

1½ pounds fava beans, shelled and skinned (blanch the shelled favas long enough to cook them through, which could be 5 minutes or more if the beans are large)
¼ cup chopped cilantro
Fresh Tomatillo Salsa

  1. Cut the kernels off the corncobs. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add a generous pinch of salt and the corn kernels and continue to cook, stirring often, until the corn is tender, another 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the fava beans and cilantro and about ½ cup of the salsa. Heat through and remove from the heat. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  2. Use the filling to make 8 to 10 Soft Tacos, topping the tacos with the remaining salsa.

ADVANCE PREPARATION: You can make this filling a few hours before serving, but the fresher it is the better. Reheat gently in the pan.


• Substitute cooked lima beans or other shell beans for the fava beans.
• Add 1 pound grated summer squash with the corn kernels and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper.

The Well-Filled Taco

Generally, ¼ to 1⁄3 cup filling makes a well-filled taco. But some fillings, like scrambled eggs, are less bulky than others, so rather than give you precise measurements for the filling amounts, I’ve given a range. The right amount for a taco will allow you to fold the taco in half over the filling and pick it up without everything falling out.