Today’s Meatless Monday recipe of summer vegetables and black beans with roasted garlic and fennel fronds pesto utilizes the beautiful fronds on the fennel bulb.
If you find fennel with their fronds attached in your local supermarket or farmer’s market don’t let them go to waste. They can be used in pesto, chop them and sprinkle on salads and meats or they can be used as garnishes to name a few.
This pesto is vegan and nut free and is simply made with four main ingredients. It’s a great pesto if you are unable to tolerate cheese or nuts. The garlic can be roasted ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until its ready to be used.
The salad is raw with the exception of the black beans. It is healthy and nutritious, and comes together quickly without a lot of fuss or extra cooking especially on those hot summer days.
It’s light and refreshing for lunch, as a side or can be served with a main course. It pairs easily with grilled meat or tofu for a delicious outdoor meal.
Let’s start by making the pesto.
Chop off the fennel fronds from the fennel bulb and reserve the fennel bulb for later use. Roast 1 head of garlic and allow time to cool.
Place the fennel fronds in a large food processor cup, peel and add the roasted garlic cloves to the food processor and add the juice of 1 lime. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Start processor and slowly drizzle in avocado oil. Stop to scrape down sides as needed and process until smooth and creamy.
Next, spiral the diakon radishes and carrots using blade C on the spiralizer (check out the spiralizer in my favorite kitchen tools) and set aside. Cut the zucchini lengthwise and chop into cubes and set them aside.
Remove the kernels from the ear of corn and set aside. The kernels from the ear of corn were left in their raw state for this recipe, however you can remove the kernels and cook them quickly for a few minutes if you don’t want your corn uncooked.
I used cooked black beans for this recipe. You can also use the contents of 1 can of black beans drained and rinsed.
In a large bowl combine the daikon radishes, carrots, zucchini, corn and beans.
This salad can be enjoyed as a light meal for lunch. If you are taking this on the go, keep the pesto in a separate container from the vegetables and combine when you are ready to have lunch.
- Fronds of 1 whole fennel
- 1 head of garlic - roasted
- 2 tbsp lime juice or 1 lime
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- Salt & pepper - to taste
- 2 large diakon radishes- spiraled with blade C
- 2 medium carrots - spiraled with blade C
- 2 small zucchini - cubed
- 1 ear of white corn- kernels removed
- 1½ cups cooked black beans or 1 can
- Place ingredients in a food processor
- Start processor and slowly drizzle in avocado oil
- Stop to scrape down sides as needed
- Process until smooth and creamy
- Spiral diakon radishes and carrots and set aside
- Cut zucchini lengthwise and chop into cubes - set aside
- Remove the kernels from corn- set aside
- Cooked black beans or the contents on 1 can - set aside
- In a large bowl combine the radishes, carrots, zucchini, corn and beans
- Pour in the pesto and combine
- Allow time to chill in the refrigerator
- Serve and enjoy!