6 Mar 2014
I am not a fan of licorice, which is why it surprises me how much I love fennel. But I should clarify: I like fennel sliced paper-thin and marinated. It tames the tangy bite but does not impede the glorious crunch. Now that I’m back in the kitchen again, I’m rifling through our cookbooks like a kid in a candy shop (ironically, pregnancy has crushed my sweet tooth, so vegetables are my candy now). Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day is one that never disappoints. Eric loves fennel too, so when I saw this recipe, I started scribbling down ingredients. The fact that dill is prominently featured doesn’t hurt either: dill is a fresh breeze of summer when you’re still waiting for tomatoes and corn to come back in season.
It’s very very quick to make too, which makes it a star in our little kitchen. A few notes: if you are planning to eat the salad over a couple of days, I would add the arugula only as you’re preparing individual bowls. Otherwise it will wilt too quickly. Also, this is a solid side dish, but if you want to make it a main course, simply add some chopped chicken or tofu (Eric did this and declared it delicious). Finally, sorry about the lack of process photos! Those are always really fun, and often more beautiful than the finished product, but we have zero (count them! zero!) windows in our kitchen, and the under-the-counter light I use for process shots is currently burned out. Hopefully we will have it replaced soon, and I will be inundating you with glamour shots of eggplants and tomatoes again!
Shaved Fennel and Zucchini Salad
From Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day
1 medium-large zucchini, sliced into paper thin coins
2 small fennel bulbs, trimmed and shaved paper-thin
2/3 cup / .5oz/ 15g loosely chopped fresh dill
1/3 cup / 80ml fresh lemon juice, plus more if needed
1/3 cup / 80ml extra virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
fine grain sea salt
4 or 5 generous handfuls arugula
1/2 cup / 2 oz/ 60g pine nuts, toasted
1/3 cup / 2 oz / 60g / feta cheese, crumbled (I left out the feta because I can’t have it during pregnancy. But I am sure it is perfect here!)
-Combine the zucchini, fennel and dill in a bowl and toss with the lemon juice, olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside and marinate for 20 minutes, or up to an hour.
-When you are ready to serve the salad, put the arugula in a large bowl. Scoop all of the zucchini and fennel onto the arugula, and pour most of the lemon juice dressing on top of that. Toss gently but thoroughly. Taste and adjust with more of the dressing, olive oil, lemon juice, or salt if needed. Serve topped with pine nuts and feta.