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BackstoryThis is something I cobbled together out of several different recipes. It's about as basic as it gets - it is, after all, raw vegetables tossed in a dressing - but the flavors are bright and the texture crunchy. Also, it's great for times when it's just WAY too hot to turn on the stove.
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tbsp mint, shredded
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2-3 tsp freshly grated lemon peel
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 small-medium head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 1 fennel bulb, bulb part halved lengthwise and sliced thin; fronds chopped
- 1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans, rinsed
- 1-2 tbsp fresh herbs, chopped
- 3 oz havarti cheese, shredded
- Combine mint and olive oil in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat until fragrant, about one minute. Set aside to cool.
- In small bowl, combine lemon juice, red wine vinegar, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Mix to combine.
- In large bowl, combine cauliflower, fennel, beans, herbs and mint oil; toss to thoroughly mix. Mix in cheese. Add lemon juice mixture and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper; serve.
- You get a nice crunch from the cauliflower and fennel, a great vibrancy from the mint, the lemon, and the anise flavor of the fennel, and you get some creamy texture from the beans and cheese. No one ingredient overpowers any of the others.
- Plus it looks nice, a very neutral palette with flecks of green from the herbs. Tarragon would work well here, as would parsley or thyme. Just stay away from anything that will conflict with the mint - I wouldn't use basil in this, for example.