Dandelion and White Bean Salad with Mint and Olives
- ACTIVE: 40 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 2 HRS 30 MIN plus overnight soaking
- SERVINGS: 4
Dandelion, mint, lemon zest and olives all have an aspect of bitterness, which is probably why they work so well together. Mild, creamy white beans soften the robust flavors in this perfect-for-late-fall salad.
- 1 1/4 cups dried white beans (1/2 pound), such as cannellini, soaked overnight and drained
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 pound dandelion, stems discarded
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons chopped mint
- 1/2 small onion, finely diced
- 8 pitted green olives, sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Put the beans and bay leaf in a large saucepan, add enough water to cover by 2 inches and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat, stirring, until the beans are tender, 50 minutes; add water to maintain the water level. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of salt. Let stand for 5 minutes. Drain the beans, discard the bay leaf and let cool.
- In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the dandelion until tender, 4 minutes. Drain and let cool, then lightly squeeze out excess water. Coarsely chop the dandelion.
- In a bowl, combine the oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and mint. In a large bowl, combine the beans and dandelion. Add the onion, olives and dressing; toss well. Season with salt and pepper and toss again. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve lightly chilled.
The intense flavors of bitter greens make most wines seem astringent. But a zesty white with bright acidity like a Grüner Veltliner can actually makes the greens taste lively—almost like a squeeze of lemon.