Spring has sprung, and while it’s still a little chilly in our neck of the woods (e.g., New Jersey), we are eagerly embracing the change of season. Soups and stews and hearty meals have dominated our menus, and maybe yours too! But, in honor of spring, we are going to lighten things up a bit, and we thought this delicious shaved fennel salad was the perfect recipe to ease us into the season!
There’s really nothing to it, but I think what makes it so tasty is the fennel itself. We are using the fennel bulb which has a slightly sweet yet subtle licorice flavor. It is refreshing and offers the added bonus of being great for digestion.
The other thing that sets this salad apart is the combination of textures — the crisp greens and the shaved vegetables — makes a tremendous difference adding unexpected layers of depth. If you don’t already have a mandoline, I suggest you run out and buy one. I have a handheld mandoline that fits nicely in my cutlery drawer. However, if you don’t have a mandoline on hand, you can still make this salad, you will just need a knife sharp enough to cut very thin slices.
The recipe is fairly simple and can be adjusted to suit your tastes and diet. It is also just gorgeous and makes a lovely presentation, as you can see from the picture above.
1 five oz bag of spring mix (or any other salad combination you like)
1 large bulb of fennel (tops removed)
1/2 red onion
A few turns of cracked black pepper
Shaved parmigiano reggiano (optional)
Your favorite balsamic vinaigrette
Wash and spin your greens and set aside in a large bowl.
Prep the fennel. Remove the tops of a large bulb of fennel and cut about a half inch off the bottom of the fennel bulb.
Cut the fennel in half lengthwise.
Next, remove the core with a sharp knife.
Last, shave each half with a mandoline or cut it thinly with a sharp knife.
Assemble the salad. Add fennel, red onion, a few turns of cracked black pepper and your favorite salad dressing (I suggest a balsamic vinaigrette) to your lettuce greens. If you like, top with shaved parmagiano reggiano. Toss and serve.
If you are interested in using a mandoline to create thin vegetable slices for your salad, here is a mid-priced option for you to consider.