Buying a fennel bulb can serve two purposes.  It adds a great crunch to this colorful salad and the top of the bulb can serve as attractive, unusual pieces of greenery in the flower arrangement for your table.  Did we just kill two birds with one fennel bulb?  Pretty corny, but I couldn’t resist!






BUTTER BEAN, FENNEL, TOMATO, and WALNUT SALAD

1 cup frozen butter or small lima beans
1 ½ cups boiling water
1 tsp. salt, divided
1 small clove garlic, finely minced
2 T. lemon juice
1 T. olive oil
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp. sugar
¾ cup shaved fennel bulb
Several small young fennel bulb sprigs or fronds
½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup walnuts, broken into pieces
Pretty lettuce leaves

 


In a medium, uncovered saucepan, cook the butter beans in the boiling water with ¾ tsp. of the salt for about 15 minutes or until just tender.  Do not under-cook; too crunchy.  Do not overcook; too mushy.  Drain the beans and return to the saucepan.  In a small bowl, combine remaining ¼ tsp. salt, minced garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, pepper and sugar; beat briskly to blend.  Add all remaining ingredients to the saucepan with the beans and gently stir.  Then, evenly pour the dressing mixture over the bean mixture. Gently toss all ingredients to blend taking care not to damage the beans.  Allow salad to rest for at least 15 minutes; then toss again before serving on lettuce leaves.  Salad can also be made earlier; then refrigerated until serving.   Serves 4.

I just love the looks of the delicate lacy top to the fennel bulb.  It is perfect to use to when garnishing a dish and also looks lovely in a flower arrangement.

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