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Fresh Garden Bean and Fennel Salad

  • Category: Salad, Vegetables
  • Submitted By: Isaac Owsley
  • Town/State: Sonora, CA
  • Serves: 6 as a side dish
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Cooking time: 10 minutes

This is a delicious and refreshing summer salad with ingredients that just seem made for each other. The crisp, clean flavor of garden beans marries well with the sweet, faintly licorice tones of the crunchy fennel bulb which compliments the satisfying meaty earthy flavors of the sliced mushrooms in a delicious marinated salad that is amazing by itself or as a salad topping/dressing on an ordinary green salad, making a simple and yet elegant meal out of summer’s best offerings.

Amount Measure Ingredients
1/2 lb Fresh green beans, ends and “strings” (if any) removed
1/2 lb fresh yellow wax beans ends removed
1 whole fennel bulb stems removed, julienne cut (sliced into 1/8″ matchsticks)
1 whole red bell pepper, julienne cut
1 lb crimini mushrooms, AKA, baby Portobello sliced thick (about ½”)
1 lb grape tomatoes (the really small variety)
1 medium red onion sliced very thinly
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp chopped garlic
3 Tbsp lemon juice (about 1 whole lemon)
2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp lemon pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup fennel leaves snipped finely

To prepare:

Blanch the beans and fennel in vigorously boiling lightly salted water for approximately 2-3 minutes or just until they turn bright green. Remove from boiling water and plunge immediately into cold or iced water to stop the cooking process. Combine the green beans with the tomatoes, mushrooms, red onions, and red bell peppers in a non reactive (non metal) bowl. Toss, salt lightly and set aside. Whisk the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice and remaining spices and seasonings until mixed well. Next, pour the dressing over the salad ingredients. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes but can be marinated over night for best results. Serve either by itself or as a salad dish alongside grilled baby back ribs or as a dressing/topping to a chilled green salad.