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Four-bean salad with roast cauliflower

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for four-bean salad with roast cauliflower.

By Emma Knowles
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 50 mins cooking plus soaking
  • Serves 4
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Four-bean salad with roast cauliflower
This dish perfectly illustrates the idea that salads aren't reserved for summer. Cook the beans from scratch to achieve the best flavour. Begin this recipe a day ahead to soak the beans.


  • 200 gm dried four bean mix (see note), soaked overnight in cold water, drained
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp each black peppercorns and dried red chilli flakes
  • Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
  • 700 gm cauliflower (about 1 small), cut into small florets
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ head radicchio, leaves coarsely torn
  • 1 baby fennel bulb, thinly shaved on a mandolin, fronds reserved
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 golden shallots, thinly sliced
  • ½ garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 50 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 25 ml Sherry vinegar, or to taste


  • 1
    Combine beans, thyme sprigs and bay leaf in a saucepan, cover well with unsalted cold water, bring to the boil over medium-high heat and cook until tender (45-50 minutes). Drain (discard thyme and bay leaf) and transfer to a bowl.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, preheat oven to 220C. Coarsely crush fennel seeds, peppercorns and chilli with a mortar and pestle, add lemon rind and 3 tsp sea salt, and stir to combine. Transfer a third of the mixture to a large bowl (reserve remainder), add cauliflower and oil, and toss to coat well. Add half the lemon juice, toss again, and spread evenly over an oven tray lined with baking paper. Roast, stirring occasionally, until well browned and very tender (30-35 minutes).
  • 3
    Add cauliflower to beans along with radicchio, fennel, parsley, shallot and garlic, toss well, then add extra-virgin olive oil, vinegar, and remaining lemon juice and toss to coat. Scatter with fennel fronds and serve warm with reserved crushed fennel mix to the side.


Note Four bean mix is a pre-mixed combination of chickpeas, baby green lima beans, red kidney beans and cannellini beans sold in supermarkets. If unavailable, use a combination of similar-sized dried legumes of your choice.
Drink Suggestion: Rich chardonnay. Drink suggestion by Max Allen