Before we entered this full-blown pandemic and there were still “events” going on throughout the country, I went to a rather large food-vendor show in the Midwest. One that featured some pretty well-known chefs doing various on-stage cooking demonstrations, along with booth after booth of products, samples and “ideas” for bringing a more sustainable face to the agriculture front. When the show was over, myself along with a few other fellow food writers (yes, I actually do this for a living too) roamed the halls where and were given so much produce and product that my arms hurt from the weight of it all by the time I made it back to the car. And, one of things I was given was a few large bulbs (stalks intact) of fennel.
FENNEL HAS A MILD TO MODERATE, SWEET BLACK LICORICE TASTE AND THOUGH IT LOOKS LIKE AN ONION, IT’S ACTUALLY A MEMBER OF THE PARSLEY FAMILY.
Truth be known, I’d never used fennel before. Sure, I’d heard of it, but I really didn’t have any idea what it was. “Looks like an onion,” I told my companions. To which they simultaneously replied, “It’s fennel (you dumbass).”
Anyway, after getting my swag home, I Googled it and plucked a few thoughts from the internet and came up with this concoction. Try it on a warm spring day with a glass of sauvignon blanc (or two).
FENNEL APPLE SALAD
PREP TIME: 20 minutes | SERVES 2-4 as a side
- 2 fennel bulbs, thinly sliced
- 2 green apples, cut in small chunks OR sliced thin
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 10-15 red or green grapes, sliced in half
- ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- ½ cup roasted walnuts (optional)
- Drizzle of olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp sugar (optional)
- Fresh lemon juice, optional
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and toss with olive oil. Note, if you add the lemon and sugar, make sure it’s all tossed well. And that’s all there is to it. Of course you can always use your favorite dressing instead, but the flavors are pretty strong with this salad so I suggest keeping it as simple as possible.
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