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Related Ingredients
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Tasting Notes

This fennel salad is refreshingly bright and crisp, a nice complement to the richer chicken and potatoes.

The sweetness of the fennel, the heat and bitterness of the greens and the tartness of the lemon vinaigrette not only keep the salad in balance, but also promise that the entire plate will be harmonious by playing fresh, clean flavors against the heavier components of the meal.

Tips & Techniques

  1. Peel off and discard the outer layer of the fennel, then slice it across the grain. This will make the fennel more tender because you are cutting through the plant’s strands and preventing the salad from heading down a stringy, not so pleasant path, similar to chewing on whole stalks of celery. So long stringy fennel!
  2. Soak fennel slices in *acidulated ice water. This ensures they stay crisp and keeps them from drying out or browning. After soaking, pat the fennel dry. If the fennel is wet, the vinaigrette won’t adhere to it.*Acidulated water is water with a touch of added acid, in this case, lemon juice. It’s mostly used to prevent fruits and veggies, like apples and potatoes, from oxidizing and turning color.
  3. Delicately dress your salad. For perfectly dressed greens, add enough vinaigrette to just coat them. Start sparingly – you can always add more. Use a spoon to drizzle the vinaigrette around the interior sides of the bowl and then use your hand to delicately toss the greens, picking up some dressing along the bowl’s sides as you do. A light hand and coat will keep the greens from becoming soggy.
  4. Garnish your greens. Don’t forget to season your greens with salt – nice, thick crystals of kosher or sea salt – and freshly ground black pepper. It’s always a pleasant surprise to taste a jolt of salt or heat on a leafy green.

Toolbox

These tools are the ones we find especially helpful when making this dish.

  1. Mandolin. When the task of slicing vegetables paper-thin feels daunting, it’s time to use a mandolin. These super-sharp planes make slicing potato chips or evenly cutting fennel bulbs a total breeze. But, beware! Mandolins have a reputation for cutting fingers, so use the hand guard or place a towel over the food as you cut.

The list below includes all the equipment you’ll want to make this dish.

Knife
Medium-sized bowl
Mandolin
Paper towels

Towel

Cutting board


Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, plus juice from 1/2 lemon for acidulated water
  • 2 medium fennel bulbs
  • 2 cups Sylvetta or other wild arugula
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Serves: 4

Total time: 15 minutes

Active time: 15 minutes

Method
  1. Cut fennel in half and take the core out of the fennel.
  2. Fill a medium bowl with ice water and add juice of half a lemon. Using a mandolin, shave the fennel into very thin slices across the grain. Transfer to the bowl of acidulated ice water.
  3. Whisk the mustard and ½ cup lemon juice in a medium bowl. Slowly stream in olive oil while whisking to emulsify dressing.
  4. Once the fennel has crisped up, remove from the ice water and drain on a paper towel. Place in a medium-sized bowl.
  5. Add the arugula to the bowl with fennel and dress with the vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper. Dressing the salad should take place immediately prior to serving.

Here is a great way to turn this dish into a meal

seared tuna salad

Give this fantastic fennel salad a protein boost with thinly-sliced seared tuna, hard boiled eggs and olives.

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