TUSCAN GREEN BEANS
1 lb very fresh green beans, stems snapped
2-4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thin
1 large bulb fresh fennel, trimmed and sliced in thin slivers
1 sweet red pepper, seeded and sliced in thin slivers
2 Tbsp pignoli nuts, lightly toasted
½ cup (or more) oil-cured black Mediterranean olives
¼ lb small fresh Mozzarella balls – “Bocconcini”
Consorzio Roasted Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Annie's Naturals Tuscany Italian Dressing
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1. Add the sliced garlic to a large pot of salted water and bring to a rolling boil.
2. Add beans and boil uncovered for 3 minutes, or until just tender – al dente.
Drain beans in colander and flash under running water, or in bowl of iced water, to stop cooking. Remove garlic or leave in (depending on how much you like it!).
3. Drain again. Toss beans with a couple of tablespoons of Consorzio Roasted Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, salt and pepper. Refrigerate while preparing other ingredients.
4. Put sliced fennel, peppers, olives, and mozzarella balls in a shallow serving bowl with ¾ cup Annie's Naturals Tuscany Italian Dressing and mix gently.
5. Just before serving, add beans (that way they won’t lose their bright green color).
6. Sprinkle with pignoli and serve – great on its own, as an antipasto dish or for a picnic.
Yield: 6-8 servings