Monday, August 10, 2015

Fig & Fennel Bean Salad

Bean salads are one of my favourite summer dishes because there is no cooking involved, and you can make a huge batch to store in the fridge. If you're in the mood to be lazy, canned-beans make preparation a breeze - just make sure you rinse them well. Bean salad's traditional dressing includes: oil, red wine vinegar, sugar, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Using that as a loose guideline, you can tweak the types of oil, vinegar, and sweetener, and add other ingredients to lend a Mediterranean vibe. I don't have sugar in my house, so I used stevia drops, but honey, maple syrup, or agave would also work wonderfully. By accident, I made the dressing a little too sweet, so I ended up adding some bitter radicchio and anchovy paste to balance things out. It turned out to be the best decision, as I completely ran with that theme. It tasted spectacular! Again, I'm not one for specific measurements, so keep adjusting the dressing ingredients until it is slightly stronger (sweet, sour, salty, etc.) than you like. Once it disperses over the ingredients it will be perfect. Chewy, dried figs are a nice compliment to the soft beans and crunchy vegetables.

Salad
  • 1 can of mixed beans, rinsed well 
  • 1/4 head of radicchio, thinly sliced 
  • 1/4 head of fennel, thinly sliced, and ALL the leafy frawns 
  • Handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped 
  • 1/4 apple, finely chopped 
  • 3-4 dried figs, finely chopped 
  • 2 green onions, white and green parts, sliced 

Dressing 
  • Few tbs grapeseed or canola oil 
  • Few tbs fig-flavoured balsamic vinegar (or the regular kind) 
  • Few drops anise/licorice flavour, or 2 tsp Sambuca liqueur 
  • Few drops of stevia, or tbs of honey 
  • 1/2 tbs anchovy paste 
  • 1/2 lemon zest and juice 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

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