This impressive and flavorful salad is perfect for any meal – from the most casual of gatherings to an elegant gourmet meal. The tart apples with the fresh fennel and light lemony vinaigrette demonstrate that there is luxury in simplicity.
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon ice cold water
2 firm, ripe Granny Smith apples
1 medium fennel bulb, with fronds in tact
Zest of one fresh lemon
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh Chervil sprigs, for garnish (optional)
Combine the lemon juice and ice water in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Halve and core the apples. Using a mandoline, slice the apples paper thin. Alternatively, using a sharp chef’s knife, slice the apples as thin as possible. Place the apple sliced into the lemon and water and toss.
Cut off the fronds of the fennel bulb and reserve. Cut off the bottom root end of the bulb. Cut the fennel in half, and thinly slice the bulb with the mandoline. Alternatively use a sharp chef’s knife. Set the slices aside. Chop the fronds and reserve.
Drain the apple slices and wipe clean the bowl. Pat the apple slices dry, and return to the bowl. Add the fennel bulb slices, the lemon zest and the olive oil. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer salad to a chilled salad bowl and sprinkle fennel fronds. Garnish with fresh Chervil sprigs and serve.
For individual service, arrange on individually chilled salad plates. Drizzle a small amount of extra virgin olive oil over the top of each plate, sprinkle with the fennel fronds. Garnish with fresh Chervil sprigs and serve.
Recipe by Donna Marie Zotter