This is really an incredible salad!
I try to make all of my salads very interesting and flavorful (and pretty!) because sometimes when I eat a salad I start with very good intentions but tend to get bored before I am done with it. Not this one!
This salad is made with fresh steamed green beans and fennel. If you don’t care for fennel, you can just double the amount of green beans and/or use some fresh or canned yellow wax beans for more color.
This salad has dried blueberries, pecans and a touch of blue cheese for flavor.
If you are very allergic to gluten you should not use blue cheese because the mold in it is started with flour (sorry!). You can substitute any other cheese that works for you or no cheese at all- this salad will still be great!
I hope that you can find really fresh fennel bulbs because the flavor is much better. They get bitter as they age but it is hard to find them really fresh because a lot of stores don’t sell them fast enough.
If you are not going to serve this salad right after making it, wait to add the blue cheese and olive oil. Add those ingredients right before you serve the salad and don’t stir too much, otherwise it will look “oily” from the blue cheese.
I shared this recipe with Meatless Mondays at Midnight Maniac, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday at Simply Sugar And Gluten Free, Tuesdays At The Table at All Of The Small Stuff, Tasty Tuesdays at 33 Shades Of Green, Tuesday Night Supper Club at Fudge Ripple, Gluten Free Wednesdays at The Gluten Free Homemaker, Real Food Wednesday at Kelly The KitchenKop
Green Bean Salad With Dried Blueberries And Blue Cheese
I make this salad with 4 cups each of green beans and fennel (anise). If you do not like fennel, just use 8 cups of green beans instead. You can also substitute some fresh or canned yellow wax beans for color.
If you have not had fennel- give it a try! It has a mild licorice flavor and is really good for you.
Cut up green beans and fennel (if using) and steam in batches until done- just slightly crisp. Rinse with cold water and drain. Place in large bowl when drained.
4 cups (8 cups if no fennel) green beans, cut up into pieces 1- 1/2 to 2 inches long (about 1- 1/2 pounds for 4 cups)
2 large bulbs fennel (anise) Root end should be pretty clean looking, not dark (old!) Cut ends off bulb then separate into “leaves” Cut into matchstick shaped pieces to mimic green bean shape and size. Use all of fennel bulb except center core.
You should have about 4 cups of fennel matchsticks.
Add to beans and fennel in bowl:
3 Tblsp blue cheese, crumbled If you are very allergic to gluten, then you need to use another cheese because the starter for the mold in the blue cheese is flour (sorry!) Wait to add blue cheese and oil if you are not going to serve right away).
2 Tblsp fresh tarragon, minced
1/2 cup dried wild blueberries (I get mine from Trader Joe’s)
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 to 1 Tblsp lime juice (I use Mexican/Key limes, they are milder)
1 teaspoon tarragon vinegar
black pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon salt
Stir everything in bowl until mixed well. If you mix it too much, the blue cheese in the salad will make it look a little “oily”. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.