on Jul 25, 2023
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My Fennel Salad will turn skeptics into fennel lovers! There is so much to love about this vegetable: it’s fresh, sweet, deep aroma, which smells like licorice; it’s crunchy, crisp texture; and it’s digestive benefits. When sliced thinly and properly seasoned, as in this salad, fresh fennel is positively irresistible. This refreshing salad is made with just a handful of pantry ingredients, plus fresh sweet cherries to bring a little sweetness and balance.
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Nothing goes to waste when I cook fennel: the leaves, also called fronds, are similar to dill, and I use them as a garnish. The outer shell of the vegetable gets a good scrub and is perfectly edible. The tough, hard, round base of the fennel gets trimmed off and can be used in soup stock, composted, or given to pets.
I know many people are intimidated by fennel, or just not yet fans. I was introduced to fennel by Steve and his Italian family. In Italy, fennel is known as finocchio and is a popular vegetable. It adds so much brightness and freshness to a meal, especially alongside oily fish or fatty meat.
The key to this fennel salad is to make the slices as thin as possible, using a sharp knife and a steady hand or a mandolin. If you’re not ready to eat a salad entirely composed of fennel, I recommend a lettuce salad with thinly sliced fennel as a topping; arugula, chicories, and butter lettuce all complement fennel nicely. Soon you will develop a taste for fennel and be as obsessed with this wonderful vegetable as I am!
- ½ large fennel bulb
- salt, to taste
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- drizzle of balsamic glaze
- pitted cherries, orange slices, or any fruit you like
- Scrub and wash the fennel really well. Pat it dry. Cut a little bit off the tough, round bottom end and compost.
- Cut then fennel into thin slices. It's easiest to slice if you cut the bulb in half and place it flat side down on a cutting board.
- Arrange the fennel onto a plate, add a sprinkle of salt, lemon juice, olive oil, and a drizzle of your favorite balsamic glaze. Add pitted cherries or orange slices for sweetness and enjoy!