Tart green apples and aromatic fennel make for a simple, refreshing salad.
With the dog days of summer in full gear, sometime it’s just too hot to turn on the oven. Instead make use of the last of spring’s fennel — the vegetable’s faint licorice flavor is sure to offer a cool reprieve to the heat. Thinly sliced, it’s a wonderful addition to a Waldorf-like salad: combine tart green apple slices, toasted walnuts and this creamy vinaigrette and top with the fragrant fennel fronds. It’s great alone, on top of fresh leafy greens or thinly sliced into a coleslaw for summer’s favorite lunch, a pulled pork sandwich.
Shaved Apple & Fennel Salad, serves four
½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1 large green apple
1large fennel bulb with stalks and fronds attached
¼ cup champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Set the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the walnuts on a small sheet tray, and bake for 5-10 minutes, until toasted to a rich golden brown color. Set aside to cool.
2. Slice the stalks off the fennel bulb and set bulb aside. Pick the fennel fronds(leaves) from the stalks and reserve.
3. Fill a medium-sized bowl with cool water, squeeze the lemon into it and place the lemon in the water. Using a sharp knife or mandolin, thinly slice the apple (julienne into matchstick-sized pieces if you prefer a slaw) and put into water to reduce oxidation. Repeat with the fennel. Set aside.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey and vinegar. Season generously with salt and fresh pepper and slowly pour in the oil, whisking constantly to create a creamy emulsion. Drain the apples and fennel and toss with the vinaigrette. Add in the fennel fronds and walnuts, toss and serve.