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Marinated Fennel and Bean Salad with Citrus and Olives

Servings: 4 to 6

The creamy texture of cranberry beans is a great complement to crunchy, thinly sliced fennel and rich, briny olives. Canary beans or classic French flageolet beans make great substitutes. The salad pairs well with duck breast, firm white fish, or a poached egg.


For the beans

  • 8 oz. dried cranberry beans (about 1 cup), sorted and rinsed
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and halved
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into large pieces
  • 1 medium rib celery, cut into large pieces
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • Kosher salt

For the salad

  • 1/2 cup pitted Castelvetrano olives (21/2 oz.)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large orange (about 10 oz.), zest removed in 6 wide strips, flesh cut into segments, juice squeezed from the membrane
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 medium bulb fennel (about 14 oz.), core removed, thinly sliced lengthwise, fronds reserved
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 280
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 150
  • Fat (g): 16
  • Saturated Fat (g): 2
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 10
  • Cholesterol (mg): 0
  • Sodium (mg): 470
  • Carbohydrates (g): 29
  • Fiber (g): 10
  • Sugar (g): 9
  • Protein (g): 7


Make the beans

  • Put the beans in a medium pot, and cover with cold water by 2 inches. Cover the pot, and soak the beans for 6 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Uncover and add the onion, carrot, celery, and thyme. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, skim off any foam, and then reduce the heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender and creamy but still hold their shape, about 2 hours. Remove from the heat, and discard the onion, carrot, celery, and thyme. Season the beans with 1-1/2 Tbs. salt. Let the beans cool to room temperature in their cooking liquid.

Make the salad

  • In a small saucepan, warm the olives, oil, zest, thyme, and pepper flakes over low heat for 5 minutes. Set aside.
  • Drain the beans. Transfer to a large serving platter, add the fennel, and spoon the orange and lemon juices over the beans. Season with a pinch each of salt and pepper.
  • Remove and discard the zest and thyme from the olive mixture. Spoon the olives over the beans. Add the orange segments, and let sit for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with the reserved fennel fronds, and then serve.


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