Mung Bean and Caramelized Fennel Salad

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  • 1 cup dried mung beans
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped fennel bulbs, excluding stems and leaves
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
  • 2 teaspoons tamari, divided
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup radicchio, thinly sliced in strips
  • 1 cup bean sprouts (optional)


Soak beans 4 to 8 hours. Cook until just tender, 45 to 60 minutes. If they get too soft, they tend to split open and make a less aesthetically pleasing salad. Drain and run beans under cold water until heat is completely dissipated. Set aside in a large bowl.

In cast iron skillet, sauté fennel over medium heat in 1 tablespoon oil until lighly browned. Stir occasionally and adjust heat slightly if fennel is cooking too slow or getting too hot too quickly. Sauté for 10 to 15 minutes.

Add sugar, red pepper flakes and garlic. Increase heat slightly so sugar boils slightly. Return to medium heat and cook, stirring often, until sugar caramelizes and coats fennel, about 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 teaspoon tamari and stir for another minute. Remove from heat and add fennel to mung beans and stir well. Season with salt and pepper.

Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon tamari, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and balsamic vinegar to salad. Season again with salt and pepper. Add radicchio and green onions and mix again. Let rest for 1 hour before serving. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

Top each serving with a small handful of bean sprouts.

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