Sunday, April 04, 2010

Recipes: White Bean Fennel Salad with Lemon and Dried Cherry Tomatoes


This salad is a good reason to grow fennel this summer. Its bright slightly sweet anise crunch pairs nicely against the tang of the fresh squeezed lemon and creamy starch of the beans.

Ingredients:

1 can great northern beans (or 1 1/2 C freshly cooked white beans)
1 fennel bulb
2 T chopped green onions
1 lemon for zest and juice
2 T chopped dried cherry tomatoes (if using regular sundried tomatoes, soak and chop first)
2 T olive oil
salt to taste
lettuce leaves for garnish

First rinse the beans and place in medium bowl. Slice the large portion of the fennel bulb into thin bite sized strips. Mince 2 T of the fennel leaves if desired. Add the fennel, onions, and beans together. Mix in the zest from one lemon, and the juice from one half of the lemon (the whole lemon can be used however I find the result to be a tad too tangy). If using dried cherry tomatoes, pulverize in a baggy with a rolling pin to create a fine mince. If the tomatoes are not dry enough to shatter, you should soak briefly and mince with a knife. Add to the other vegetables. Add the olive oil, mix well. Salt to taste. Serve on fresh lettuce leaves.

Serves 2 for a meal or 4 as a side

Dried Cherry Tomatoes

When summer gives you too many cherry tomatoes, a food dehydrator can be your best friend. We try to dry at least two quart jars of cherry tomatoes each season. Simply slice your cherry tomatoes in half and place on the tray of a food dehydrator for one to two days. They are delicious on salads or reconstituted in stews and casseroles.

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