Sunday, July 6, 2014

Lemon-Fennel Beans with Dill

Mmm... lemon, fennel, and dill. This feels like a fish recipe, but it worked brilliantly as it was, with beans. I used pinto beans out of necessity, which caused the size discrepancy issue (the little things fall to the bottom), but otherwise, the pinto bean texture was just fine--still light but hearty.

The fennel is best when really browned and also simmered until seriously succulent, so take your time with this. I always think of fennel as more of a background vegetable, but here it is legitimately delicious.

I had this with wild rice and a kale-edamame saute (motivic unity of small beans?). Good.

Lemon Fennel Beans with Dill

4-5 small fennel bulbs
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt 
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
Half a lemon, scrubbed and sliced or cut into wedges
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups cooked white beans (corona, cannellini, etc)
1/2 cup water (or reserved liquid from cooking the beans)
1/2 cup roughly chopped dill

  1. To prep the fennel, remove each bulb's tough outermost layer. Trim each bulb's base, and slice along the length into 1/2-inch thick wedges.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. When the oil starts to ripple and move away from the center of the pan, add the fennel. Scatter the wedges across the surface of the pan rather than gathering them into a clump, and let them sit without stirring until the sides touching the pan caramelize and brown a bit, roughly 2 minutes or so. Stir and cook for another 2 minutes or so, until the fennel has cooked through. Add the honey, lemon, salt, and wine to the pan, stirring to combine. Let the wine heat and reduce for a minute or so before adding the beans and water. Cook until the beans are warmed through, about 5 minutes.
  3. These beans are good at just about any temp- hot, warm, or at room temperature. Serve topped with a big handful of chopped dill and a drizzle of your best olive oil. Serves 4.


Eileen said...

These beans sound so good! And we've been getting heads of fennel in the CSA box, so I'm excited to find a new way to use them. :)

Julia said...

Thanks, Eileen! What other ways have you been using them? I usually just put them in soup.