Salads

Rather than an afterthought, salads tend to be a favorite part of the meal for us, as they provide an opportunity (whenever possible) to showcase what is in season. They also add magnificent color to any presentation.

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Post image for Festive Fennel Salad

The first bite of this delightfully crisp and light salad will enthrall you with a burst of flavors. The lovely licorice of the fennel and the zesty cilantro make for an unusual combination that wakes up your taste buds.  This salad is a perfect side dish for that picnic in the park.

4 servings

Ingredients

For the salad:
¼ cup sweet yellow corn kernels (from one ear of corn)
1 fennel bulb, white part only, thinly sliced
½ cup sweet red bell pepper, diced
¼ cup carrot, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
[Chef’s Note: You can easily create thin rounds using a vegetable peeler on the round tip of the carrot.]
1 green onion sliced thin, including green part
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

For the dressing:
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon honey
½ cup grape seed oil

Equipment
Immersion blender or wire whisk

Preparation

Prepare the salad:
Remove the corn kernels from the ear with a sharp knife. Set aside.

Remove fronds and stalks from the fennel bulb. Slice the bulb into quarters then slice each quarter into thin vertical slices being careful to remove the tough core that holds the leaves together. Prepare remaining vegetables and mix together with the fennel in a large mixing bowl. Add the corn kernels and cilantro and mix well.

Prepare the dressing:
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the rice wine vinegar, salt, freshly ground black pepper and honey until well blended. While whisking, slowly drizzle the grape seed oil into the bowl to create an emulsion. Blend well.

[Chef’s Note: You may also make the dressing using an immersion blender and a tall container.]

Toss the dressing with the salad and cover. Refrigerate for an hour to allow the flavors to meld. The salad can be served chilled or at room temperature.

[Chef’s Note: This salad can be made a day ahead and stores well in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.]

Recipe and photo by Lia Soscia

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