Warm Bean Salad
150g Flageolet Beans, soaked overnight
4 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
1 carrot or celery stalk
A few cherry tomatoes
A small bunch of thyme
1 Fennel bulb
12 Cherry tomatoes
2 Red Romano peppers
1/3 medium cucumber
1 medium bunch mint
1 heaped tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp fennel seeds, toasted and ground
1. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F).
2. Place the soaked beans in a pan with the aromatics. Add enough water to cover the beans, bring to the boil then turn down to simmer and cook for 30-40 minutes. Make sure the beans are always covered.
3. Lightly toast the fennel seeds and grind to a coarse powder in a pestle and mortar.
4. Chop up the fennel and peppers and place in a roasting tray with the cherry tomatoes, smoked paprika, fennel seeds and a generous glug of olive oil. Roast for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are starting to colour.
5. Once the beans are soft but hold their shape, take them off the heat and strain out most of the liquid. Leave a small amount to add to your dressing. Remove the aromatics at this stage and discard.
6. Make the dressing by combining the red wine vinegar, salt, honey, mustard and olive oil.
7. Once the beans have cooled down a bit, combine with the roasted veg, the dressing, chopped cucumber and mint. Check for seasoning and serve with some feathery fennel fronds sprinkled on top.