Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Cannellini, Fennel, Radish Salad

As I was sending the recipes to this weekend's Cool Beans and Grains class, it occurred to me that I didn't have a blog post or explicit recipe for the Cannellini, Fennel, Radish salad.  I have mentioned it in the salads that won't wilt post, but it's so simple that I never bothered writing it down.  Since I had it for lunch today, I thought it was a perfect opportunity to take a picture and turn it into an official recipe.

About beans: You can cook your own beans or simply open a can (365 brand from Whole Foods is good).  If using canned beans, it's a good idea to rinse them in a colander since the liquid can be rather starchy.
About the fear of mandolines:  They don't need to be scary.  Follow instructions in this video and wear a cut resistant glove.

Serves 6-8

For the dressing:
1 garlic clove, peeled
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil

For the salad:
4 cups cooked and drained cannellini beans
1 medium fennel bulb, sliced 1mm thin on a mandoline (video)
10 radishes, sliced 1mm thin on a mandoline
1/2 medium red onion, sliced 1mm thin on a mandoline
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro (dill, mint, parsley, basil, tarragon all work too) (video)
Salt and Pepper

Dressing Procedure:

  1. You need to turn garlic into a completely smooth paste.  You can either grate it on a Microplane zester, or mince it with a chef's knife, sprinkle with salt, and rub with the flat side of your knife until it becomes a paste.  
  2. In a small bowl, combine mashed garlic, lime juice, and mustard.  Mix well with a fork.  Slowly pour in the oil mixing constantly.  
Salad Procedure:
  1. In a large bowl, combine beans, fennel, radishes, onion, cilantro (or whatever herb you are using).  Pour in the dressing, season with salt and pepper.  Mix well and taste.
  2. Adjust seasoning as needed (you might need more lime juice, salt, or oil).  I like the veggies to taste almost pickled, so my dressing for this dish is very astringent.  If you like it more mellow, add more olive oil.  Don't be dainty with salt either.  There needs to be a good balance of saltiness and acidity.  
Ideally, you want to serve it right away, but it's one of those salads whose leftovers will live happily in your fridge for a day.


Sally said...

Fennel and radishes in winter, yes! What we crave. I DID end up in the emergency room once trying to use a cheap mandoline, and I should've known better. The glove is a great idea. I'm still hooked on the knife though. Practice makes perfect. But there are those times a mandoline would be nice to have. Any recommendations?

Helen said...

Hi Sally,

I use a Benriner adjustable blade slicer.


Jill Mant~a SaucyCook said...

This salad looks and sounds so good. I am also going to refer my blogging partner to your site and your video before she looses an entire finger to her mandoline! See her post on French Onion soup for the details on her last mandolaccident!

Svetlana said...

I made this salad last night. Loved it!
Thank you.