Mung Bean and Caramelized Fennel Salad
I prefer a cast iron skillet for this dish because it works so well with the rich caramelizing effects of the sugar. Substitute a regular fry pan if you don't have a skillet.
Fennel varies greatly in size so you may buy a large one or two smaller ones to yield two cups. In either case, it doesn't matter much. You can have more or less fennel in your salad. I prefer more.
Serve this with
- 1 cup dried mung beans Add to list
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Add to list
- 2 cups coarsely chopped fennel bulb, excluding stems and leaves Add to list
- 2 tablespoons organic sugar Add to list
- 1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes Add to list
- 2 garlic cloves, minced Add to list
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice Add to list
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce Add to list
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar Add to list
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced Add to list
- 3/4 cup radicchio, thinly sliced in strips Add to list
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste Add to list
- 1 cup bean sprouts Add to list
Soak beans 4 to 8 hours. Cook until just tender, 45 to 60 minutes. If they get too soft, they tend to split open and make a less aesthetically pleasing salad. Drain and run beans under cold water until heat is completely dissipated. Set aside in a large bowl.
In cast iron skillet, sauté fennel over medium heat in 1 tablespoon oil until lighly browned. Stir occasionally and adjust heat slightly up or down if fennel is cooking too slow or getting too hot too quickly. Sauté about 10 to 15 minutes.
Add sugar, pepper flakes and garlic. Increase heat slightly so sugar boils slightly. Return to medium heat and cook, stirring often, until sugar caramelizes and coats the fennel, about 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 teaspoon soy sauce and stir for another minute. Remove from heat and add fennel to mung beans and stir well. Season with salt and pepper.
Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and balsamic vinegar to salad. Season again with salt and pepper. Add radicchio and scallions and mix again. Let rest for an hour before serving. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
Top each serving with a small handful of bean sprouts.
Recipe by, former PCC staff