Fennel-Lemon Green Bean Salad

Serves 4-6

Fennel Green Bean Salad with Parmesan Cheese
2 medium bulbs fennel with leaves, washed
1 pound fresh green beans, cleaned and blanched tender crisp
6 fresh button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
¼ cup water
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Lemon zest to taste
Parmesan Cheese, grated, to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Trim green beans and place in pot of boiling water. When boiling restarts, cook 3 minutes. Rinse in very cold water to stop the cooking process and cool the bean.
2. Meanwhile, trim and discard tough outer layers of the fennel bulb
3. Wash and mince 2 tablespoons of fennel leaves; set aside
4. Split the fennel bulb lengthwise and discard core; cut bulb into 1/8 inch slices
5. In a large bowl, combine fennel, cooled beans and mushrooms; set aside
6. In a small jar, combine remaining ingredients plus the minced fennel leaves; shake well until mixed
7. Pour over vegetables and chill
8. Stir just before serving, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese

Lea Sprinkling CheeseThis is a very nice change from the usual lettuce salad, and goes especially well with fish!  I really like the refreshing lemon flavor, with the crispy vegetables. We frequently brighten this up by replacing the balsamic with rice wine or champagne vinegar that lets the fennel and lemon really shine through. And, if you don’t like having to cut your salad at the table, you can cut the beans and fennel into smaller pieces when assembling the salad.

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