This is a perfect summer salad - full of green veggies, crunchy fennel, and tossed with a lemon-y dressing. I am totally in love with the salad dressing - Parmesan cheese and an egg yolk make it extra creamy, and it was fantastic both on this salad and over other veggies later in the week. What really takes this salad over the top, though, is fresh, homemade croutons. Since we served this salad with roast chicken, I used some chicken fat from the roast chicken to fry up cubes of white bread, making them super flavorful. Of course, if you haven't just roasted a chicken, you could use olive oil and a generous sprinkling of salt. Any leftover salad keeps well in the fridge for a day or two (just store the croutons separately so they don't get soggy).
Green Bean Salad with Fennel and Baby Arugula (adapted from Tender)
For the dressing:
1 T red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 egg yolk
Scant 1/2 cup olive oil
3 T freshly grated Parmesan
2 tsp lemon juice
For the salad:
7 ounces green beans
One medium fennel bulb
2 handfuls baby arugula
2 thick slices good quality white bread
Chicken fat, butter, or oil for frying the bread
1. Make the dressing. Combine the vinegar, mustard, and egg yolk in a small jar with a watertight lid. Screw on the lid and shake to combine. Add the olive oil and Parmesan, and shake well to combine. Finally, add the lemon juice and shake well to combine - the dressing should be creamy. Set aside while preparing the rest of the salad.
2. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Trim the green beans and boil until just tender. When they're done, drain and immediately run under cold water until the beans are cold.
3. Trim the fennel bulb, cut in half, and remove the core. Slice as thinly as possible. Toss together the beans and fennel with the arugula.
4. Cut the bread into chunks. Heat a bit of fat in a non-stick frying pan over medium high heat. Add the bread chunks and saute until browned, stirring occasionally.
5. Toss the vegetables with about two-thirds of the dressing. Divide among plates and top with the croutons. Serve with the remaining dressing alongside.