Updated: Sep 10, 2019
Spring is here!
And with the waking of nature, a craving for fresh fruits and crispy salads and veggies awakes inside of me. So many greens and salads find themselves on my dining table this time of the year. I am going to share one salad recipe with you, which contains one of my favorite ingredients – Romano beans.
Romano beans are those flat green beans, a lot wider and flatter than regular green beans (which I also adore). One of my favorite ways to make them is to just toss them on a heated pan and wait for them to start popping like popcorn. Yes, they will make those cute little sounds, puff up and become a crispy, healthy and low calorie treat. I sometimes make just a plateful of them to snack on when I am watching a movie. That’s how much I like them and this way of preparing them!
In this salad I added some fennel to give it sweetness, fresh strawberries for a fruity touch, pistachios for a wonderful crunch and burst of flavor, and a balsamic reduction to bring all the flavors together. Let’s get into it!
150 grams Romano beans (flat green beans)
150 grams Belgian endive
150 grams fennel
100 grams strawberries
Handful of pistachios
Salt and pepper
White and black sesame seeds (optional)
1. Wash the endive and slice it in strips. Set the endive aside, and repeat the process with the fennel bulb. You want to have thin strips of fennel that can cook through quickly and evenly. Wash the beans and break them into smaller, bite-sized pieces using your hands.
2. Heat up a little bit of olive oil in the pan and add the fennel. Cook it over low heat until it softens and naturally caramelizes a bit. When it is done, take the fennel out of the pan and set aside. Add the beans to the pan, making sure you increase the heat to medium high. Keep an eye on the beans and toss them around the pan often, so they don’t burn. After a while, you will see the beans are becoming a darker shade of green and you will hear them pop as if you were making popcorn. This means they are almost ready. You want to hear as many pops as possible before turning the heat off.
3. Wash and cut the strawberries and pistachios.
4. Serve the salad by putting the Belgian endive on the bottom of the plate, and adding the warm ingredients on top – the fennel and beans. Add salt and pepper and toss the salad so all of the ingredients get seasoned. Top with strawberries, pistachios, sesame seeds and the balsamic reduction*.
For the balsamic reduction, put around 50 mL of aceto balsamico to a little pan with a teaspoon of honey. Cook on low heat until the excess liquid evaporates and you are left with a thick sauce like reduction. Bon appetit!