There are some ingredients I find intimidating to prepare and cook, and consequently, I usually stay away from a recipe that includes them, or I will leave them out. One of those foods, is fennel. I haven't ever used it, never have thought much about what to do with it. However, because I loved the sound of every other ingredient in this delightful assortment of foods, I decided to be brave and make this salad, following the recipe and using all of the components listed.
It was perfect with the grilled chicken that I served for dinner - and I found the fennel added a wonderful crunch and interesting anise flavor. It wasn't at all difficult to prepare - I would definitely recommend both this aromatic vegetable and the exploration of new foods.
WHITE BEANS WITH LEMON, FENNEL AND AVOCADO
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed
1 bulb fennel, trimmed and shredded or finely chopped
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 avocados, diced
In a large bowl, combine the beans, fennel, tomatoes, onion, parsley and olives.
In a small bowl, mix the oil, lemon juice and basil to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Add the dressing to bean mixture and toss to coat. Fold in the avocado and serve immediately.
Recipe adapted from Arkansas Democrat Gazette, August 2012