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Broccoli Rabe, White Bean & Finocchiona Salad

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A salad of any kind should aim for a variety of textures, flavors, and colors, such as this one achieves. The ingredients here are not thrown together, but thoughtfully composed in consideration of what the winter season brings. Still, it can be a dish for any season or any occasion, informal or festive, served as a starter for meat, fish or vegetable courses, or as a satisfying light lunch. The warm beans are a gentle backdrop for the spicy broccoli rabe, pungent sun-dried tomatoes, and paper-thin slices of sweet finocchiona (fennel salami); the disparate notes brought together with full-bodied olive oil. If you can find it, the best dressing would be olio novello, the potent, fresh, unfiltered olive oil from the first pressing of the olive harvest in early November.

Recipe by Julia della Croce
Julia is one of America’s foremost authorities on Italian cooking. She is a James Beard Award winning author and has written over 15 cookbooks.

Serves: 4
Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 35 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked white beans such as cannellini or Great Northern Whites
  • 2 cups parboiled broccoli rabe, cooked for 3 minutes
  • 8 sun-dried tomato halves preserved in olive oil, drained and sliced
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced finocchiona salami, or substitute dry pepperoni or chorizo
  • Good extra-virgin olive oil, to taste
  • Fine sea salt
  • Plenty of freshly ground black or white pepper, or hot red pepper flakes

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Directions

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1. If using canned beans, drain and steep them in hot boiling water. If hydrating and cooking the beans, keep them warm in their cooking water. Drain just before using. Drain the cooked broccoli rabe and cut it into bite-sized pieces.

2. On a platter, arrange the beans, the broccoli rabe, and the dried tomato pieces. Dress to taste with the oil. Scatter the salami slices on top, season with salt and pepper. Taste and correct for seasoning. Best served when freshly made, and still warm, or at room temperature.

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