In Season Now … Baby Fennel, Pear, Apple And Walnut Salad

My favourite vegetable is back in season … fennel! Truth be known, I have only been a fennel lover for just over a year when I started food blogging. I have ignored the odd looking white bulb with horn-like stalks and fronds, only to discover I was missing out on something so versatile and nutritious, for the longest time by not daring to try prepare and incorporate fennel on my list of favourite produce.

Such a versatile produce, fennel is considered both a vegetable and a herb. The bulb can be eaten both raw or cooked. I love the licorice anise-like scent it releases once you cut and slice the bulb. My favourite way to prepare fennel is make a simple salad with very lemon dressing like this baby fennel, pear and apple salad. The chopped walnuts add crunch and texture to this simple but divine salad.

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(Serves 3-4)

  • 2 baby fennel bulbs, trimmed, fronds reserved
  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • 1 pear
  • 100 g roughly chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • pepper, to taste
  • grated parmesan cheese, to garnish
  1. Thinly slice the fennel across the bulbs with a sharp knife or mandolin. Core apple;cut in quarters then thinly slice with sharp knife or mandolin. Cut pear in half then slice thinly with sharp knife or mandolin.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together lemon juice and olive oil until well combined. 
  3. Arrange slices of fennel, pear and apple among serving plates. Season with pepper. Sprinkle chopped nuts on top, then parmesan cheese. Garnish with fennel fronds.

How easy was that to prepare? And very pretty, too! I think so anyway. The flavour is simple yet refreshing and delightful. This salad can be served as light lunch or as a complement to most Italian dishes. Great with salmon but also good with poultry dishes. As for me and my son, we had this with a bowl of mussels cooked in tomato sauce and herbs. Delish!

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