Monday, May 12, 2014

Fennel, Arugula & Green Apple Salad with Almonds, Parmesan & Golden Raisins

Fennel, Arugula & Green Apple Salad with Almonds, Parmesan & Golden Raisins
Serves: 8
Fennel, Arugula & Green Apple Salad with Almonds, Parmesan & Golden Raisins
Are you looking for that new and interesting salad – something easy, quick and different – yet not so bizarre that you or your guests wonder what they are eating? I absolutely love, love fennel – coupled with arugula…well, perfection. Even as a kid, I coveted everything licorice and enthusiastically exchanged my jellybeans for any of the black ones. My true aha moment was the discovery that licorice love could be satisfied with real food. Fennel, anise, tarragon and basil get their signature perfume from the same compound (anethole) that licorice does.

Fennel is a hardy perennial with dill-like foliage atop celery-esque stalks that sprout from a pale green bulb. Though the peak season is fall through spring, I serve fennel to rave reviews – roasted, sautéed, grilled, braised and in salads – all year long. It is crisply refreshing raw and meltingly sweet when cooked.
The stars of the show!
This salad is set off to its ultimate advantage by a garlicky vinaigrette – bolstered by arugula, apples, Marcona almonds, Parmesan cheese and raisins – comprises an intriguing mélange of tastes and textures.
  • ¼ C Sherry vinegar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¾ C extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large head frisee, torn into bite size pieces
  • 2 large bulbs fennel, stalks and outer layers removed and very thinly sliced
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, thinly sliced
  • 1 C salted Marcona almonds, toasted, coarsely chopped
  • 1 C golden raisins
  • 1 C shaved Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 C celery, thinly sliced crosswise
  • ½ lb baby arugula
  • ¾ tsp fennel pollen 

To make the vinaigrette: Place the sherry vinegar, salt, pepper, shallots and garlic into a lidded jar, close and shake. Add the extra-virgin olive oil and shake again.

In a large bowl, combine frisee, sliced fennel & apples, almonds, raisins, shaved Parmesan cheese, celery and arugula.  Add enough dressing to moisten and flavor and toss lightly to coat salad. Season with more salt and pepper if needed. Sprinkle bowl or each serving with fennel pollen.

Bon Appetit!
You will love it!


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