Dana Treat – Treat Yourself

Lettuce-less Salad

Posted May 27, 2009

We eat a lot of salad in the Dana Treat house.  Almost every night that I cook, I make a salad.  It is usually simple with just lettuce with some essentials (tomatoes, mushrooms, avocado) and a rotating list of favorites (hearts of palm, olives, chickpeas, pea sprouts).  The stuff to lettuce ratio is always heavy on the stuff.  I don’t love lettuce-y salads.

And sometimes I don’t want lettuce at all.  Sometimes I want something light and crunchy and nothing like my regular salads.  That’s when I make this one.  Blanched green beans, thinly sliced fennel, and mushrooms get tossed in a lemon balsamic vinaigrette with lots of herbs.  It’s really a lovely salad when you want something cold and crisp but don’t want to wrestle with lettuce.

One year ago:  Roasted Potatoes and Onions with Wilted Greens

Green Bean and Fennel Salad

Adapted from Bon Appétit
Serves 4

This recipe originally called for a lot of parsley.  I toned it down here a bit.  Next time I make it, I am going to add some tarragon to the mix because I think it’s slightly anise-y flavor would be most welcome.

3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 pound fresh green beans, trimmed, and cut into 2 inch pieces
2 large fennel bulbs, trimmed, quartered lengthwise, thinly sliced cross-wise
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 tbsp. chopped fresh chives
Zest of one medium lemon

Whisk first 3 ingredients in medium bowl to blend.  Season with salt and pepper.

Cook green beans in a large pot of salted water until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.  Transfer to a large bowl of ice water.  Drain beans.  Pat dry.  (Can be made one day ahead.  Cover and chill dressing.  Wrap beans in paper towels and chill.)

Place beans in large bowl.  Add fennel, mushrooms, parsley, chives, and lemon peel.  Drizzle dressing over, toss.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cover and chill 30 minutes.  Toss again and serve.  (Can be made 3 hours ahead.  After that the green beans start to discolor.)

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