Stir: Mixing It Up in the Italian Tradition By Barbara Lynch Hardcover, 352 pages Houghton Mifflin Harcourt List Price: $35.00
1 medium fennel bulb 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon mild vegetable oil, preferably grapeseed oil Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1/4 pound green beans, preferably haricots verts, trimmed 2 tablespoons dried currants, plumped in hot water until soft and drained 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar, preferably Chardonnay Leaves from 2 fresh tarragon sprigs
To roast the fennel, heat the oven to 350F. Trim the fennel bulb of its stalk, cut it in half and cut away the tough core. Slice the fennel lengthwise about 1/4 inch thick. In a small roasting pan or ovenproof skillet, toss the fennel with 1 teaspoon of the oil. Season with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper and roast until tender and golden, 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a small saucepan of salted water to a boil and have ready a medium bowl filled with ice water. Boil the green beans until tender, 4 to 6 minutes, depending on thickness, and transfer them with a slotted spoon to the ice water to halt the cooking. Drain and reserve.
To make the vinaigrette, combine the currants, shallot, and vinegar. Slowly whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and season with a little salt and pepper. To serve, toss the fennel and green beans with enough of the vinaigrette to moisten them well. Add the tarragon and toss again. Serve warm or at room temperature.
MAKE AHEAD: You can roast the fennel, blanch the green beans, and make the vinaigrette up to 1 day ahead of serving. Refrigerate the fennel and beans separately, covered with plastic wrap, then let the beans come to room temperature and warm the fennel in a low (200°F oven) before combining.
From Stir: Mixing It Up in the Italian Tradition by Barbara Lynch. Copyright 2009 by Barbara Lynch. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.