Recipe: Fennel and white bean salad
Fennel and white bean salad can be prepared over a campfire in a cast-iron skillet. (Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times)
Note: Adapted from a recipe by Jeremy Jackson.
8 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2 -inch pieces
1 large (or 2 regular) fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced, plus 2 tablespoons minced fronds, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) white beans, drained
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Zest of 1 medium lemon
1/4 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons best-quality olive oil
Tabasco, or other vinegar-based hot sauce, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Prepare your coals using a chimney starter. The coals will be ready when each briquette is glowing slightly and has a thin coating of white ash. Spread the prepared coals in your fire pit or grill. Adjust your grate or rack a few inches above the coals.
2. Heat a cast-iron skillet for a few minutes until hot, then add the bacon and sauté until crisp, stirring occasionally. Strain the bacon and reserve 2 tablespoons of the grease in the pan to cook the fennel (save the additional grease for another use). Place the strained bacon into a medium bowl.
3. Add the sliced fennel to the pan and sauté until it just starts to brown, 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic and cook until aromatic, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the fennel and garlic from the heat, and add to the bacon.
4. Gently stir the beans into the fennel and bacon mixture, then stir in the minced fennel fronds, lemon juice and zest, cumin and olive oil. Season with a couple dashes of Tabasco and one-fourth teaspoon salt and one-eighth teaspoon pepper, or to taste. Serve immediately or within a couple of hours.
Each serving: 280 calories; 15 grams protein; 31 grams carbohydrates; 8 grams fiber; 11 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 18 mg. cholesterol; 418 mg. sodium.