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Author Notes: This is a great salad for entertaining as it can be completely done ahead. It can be served at room temp, but I usually warm it up on the serving platter just before serving. - TheWimpyVegetarian
Grilled Fennel and Cannellini Bean Salad
- 1 large fennel bulb
- 1 cup white wine
- Pinch each salt, pepper, dried thyme and lemon zest
- Olive oil
- 2 cups cooked white beans, or one 17-ounce can
- 4 slices pancetta, fried whole until crispy
- 2/3 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- Parmesan cheese shavings
- 1 large garlic clove, peeled and smashed
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 5 fresh sage leaves, roughly torn
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Freshly ground pepper
- Bring a large pot of water with the wine to a boil, and blanch the fennel for 10 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool. Slice the bulb in half, and into quarters. Slice the fennel in ¼” thin wedges, keeping the core intact to hold each wedge together. Lightly dust the surfaces with salt, pepper, thyme and lemon zest, and grill for 10 minutes each side, or until the fennel softens, but still has a slight crunch. Grill longer if you prefer a softer fennel.
- Make the dressing using ideally a mortar and pestle set. Place the smashed garlic clove in the bowl of the set and sprinkle with salt. Using the pestle, smash the garlic clove until it liquefies. Add the lemon juice and vigorously stir with the pestle. Add the sage leaves and continue stirring and smashing the garlic. Add the olive oil while stirring. Add a little pepper.
- Combine the beans and tomatoes and toss with 1 ½ tablespoons of dressing. Lay on a serving plate and top them with the pancetta rings and grilled fennel. Top with the remaining dressing and a few shavings of Parmesan cheese.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Dish with Meat as a Flavoring
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Mortar and pestle perfection.