Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Fennel Apple Salad


This is kind of hilarious. I saw a recipe for fennel apple salad on Mark Bittman’s NYTimes blog the other day and I fairly swooned. Stopped at the Sunflower Market on the way home and got myself a fennel bulb. Tonight I finally get a chance to make it, I get out my fixins, including walnuts, which I was sure were in there, and was halfway into my memory of Mr. Bittman’s recipe before I bothered actually consulting it. Turns out it was a fennel celery salad. With no walnuts. The reason it’s funny is because celery has been one of my number one, unstoppable cravings for the past few weeks. I sat in front of the computer yesterday and ate practically a whole bunch, with a little salt on each stalk, and what I didn’t eat went into a pot of soup (believe it or not, I don’t put everything I cook on the blog). So tonight when I realized my mistake not only was it inconceivable to me (misreading my favorite ingredient??), but I had used all the celery the day before. So…I proceeded with the original misreading and invented my own fennel apple salad. By the by: fennel is a natural aid to digestion, which is good for everyone, but it also has nausea-calming properties for pregnant ladies.

1 fennel bulb, tough outer layer removed

1 apple, peeled, cored and quartered (I used gala, but I bet a lot of people would like granny smith here)

3 Tbs toasted walnut pieces

loads of shaved parmesan

classic French vinaigrette:

1/4 C canola oil (I find that olive has a little too much flavor for this)

3 Tbs vinegar

2 Tbs French mustard (such as Maille)

Directions: Whisk together dressing ingredients until smooth; set aside. Thinly slice fennel bulb and apple with a mandolin, food processor, or a very sharp knife and lots of patience and band-aids. Toss together with walnuts, parmesan and dressing, finish with fresh ground black pepper. Chris isn’t typically a huge salad eater but he wolfed this one down and left me: no leftovers for tomorrow. Sigh.

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