Monday, March 28, 2016

Fennel and Celery Salad

I bought my very first bulb of fennel recently.  I had big plans for it, but I could never find the other ingredients needed for what was admittedly a very strange recipe.  So, there it sat in my refrigerator, this giant bulb of fennel which I had never cooked with and had no plans for.  Then one night I needed a vegetable side for a pasta dish (coming up next!), and I spied the lonely sad bulb.  A quick search on Pinterest led me to this fennel and celery salad, and this the fennel was saved from a sure rotting death in the back of the fridge.

It couldn't be easier to make this salad: thinly slice celery and fennel (I used my mandoline to get them ultra thin) and dress them with parsley, olive oil and lemon juice, with pine nuts and shaved parmesan.  I actually left out the cheese and pine nuts because I didn't have either one on hand, but I look forward to trying it with those next  time!  Even without them, the salad was really good!  The fennel is slightly sweet (almost a faint taste of licorice) but the lemon cuts it nicely.  It's fresh and bright and crunchy and so much more exciting than anything with lettuce, which is the world's most boring vegetable and the reason I hate most salads.  By the way - the lack of lettuce means this salad can actually stay good for a few days!

Don't be scared of fennel!  Don't ignore it at the grocery store and don't let it hide in the back of your vegetable bin.  Let it star in a salad and you won't regret giving it a chance.


fennel and celery salad
from Platings and Pairings
serves 4

1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 large fennel bulb, sliced very thin
6 celery stalks, sliced very thin
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons good quality olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 ounces shaved parmesan


1) Toss fennel, celery, pine nuts, and parsley with lemon juice and olive oil.

2) Season with salt and pepper to taste, and sprinkle with shaved parmesan.

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