Fennel and bean salad

    Fennel and bean salad

    5saves
    25min


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    About this recipe: The pleasant aniseed flavour of fresh fennel combines with flageolet beans, green olives, Parma ham and a fresh orange dressing in this appetising warm salad. Serve it with crusty French bread for a satisfying lunch.

    Ingredients
    Serves: 4 

    • grated zest and juice of 1 small orange
    • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
    • 1½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 garlic clove, crushed
    • 1 can flageolet beans, about 400 g, drained and rinsed
    • 75 g (2½ oz) stoned green olives
    • 1 large bulb of fennel, about 340 g (12 oz), sliced
    • 150 g (5½ oz) green beans, halved
    • 2 courgettes, about 250 g (8½ oz) in total, sliced
    • 6 slices Parma ham, about 85 g (3 oz) in total, fat removed and slices halved
    • salt and pepper

    Method
    Prep:18min  ›  Cook:7min  ›  Ready in:25min 

    1. Mix together the orange zest and juice, mustard, olive oil and garlic in a gratin or other shallow baking dish. Add the flageolet beans and olives and toss well. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then set aside while preparing the rest of the salad.
    2. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, add the fennel and green beans, and simmer for 1 minute. Add the courgettes and cook for a further 3–4 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender. Meanwhile, preheat the grill to high.
    3. Drain the vegetables and toss them with the flageolet beans and olives in the gratin dish. Scrunch up the pieces of Parma ham and arrange on top. Place the dish under the grill and cook for 1–2 minutes, just to warm the ham, then serve immediately.

    Each serving provides

    C, E, folate, potassium, A, B1, B6, calcium, zinc

    Another idea

    To make a pepper and cannellini bean salad with omelette strips, combine 1 crushed garlic clove, 1 finely chopped shallot, 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsp shredded fresh basil, and salt and pepper to taste in a salad bowl. Whisk to mix. Add 2 red peppers, seeded and roughly chopped, 1 can cannellini beans, about 410 g, drained and rinsed, and 75 g (2½ oz) stoned black olives. Cook 115 g (4 oz) green beans in boiling water for 4 minutes, then drain and refresh under cold running water. Add to the bowl. Beat together 3 large eggs and 3 tbsp water, then stir in 2 tbsp shredded fresh basil and 2 tbsp snipped fresh chives. Heat 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil in a 20 cm (8 in) non-stick frying pan, pour in the egg mixture and cook for 2–3 minutes or until the omelette is set, lifting the edges so the liquid egg can run onto the pan. Cut the omelette into strips, place on top of the salad and serve.

    Plus points

    *Bulb fennel was first cultivated by the Egyptians. It provides useful amounts of potassium and folate, as well as phytoestrogen, a naturally occurring plant hormone that may be helpful in protecting against breast cancer.
    *Parma ham is the best known of the Italian salted, air-dried prosciuttos (the Italian word for ham). It is very lean, as long as you trim off visible fat, and has a wonderful flavour.

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