Friday, August 23, 2013

Shaved Fennel Salad with Pink Peppercorns and Grapefruit Vinaigrette

This is the simplest fennel salad I know. It makes a perfect side dish, but if you really like fennel, it can be eaten as a main course. 

Popular in Mediterranean countries where it is known since the Antiquity, fennel is still somehow underestimated in the United States. But this should not be so since fennel is one of the healthiest vegetables known to us.

Fennel belongs to the Umbellifereae family and is therefore closely related to parsley, carrots, dill and coriander. Fennel can be eaten cooked and raw. It can be juiced, marinated, or made into a jam. The bulb, stalk, leaves and seeds are all edible. Seeds can be used to make a soothing infusion.

  • 2-3 medium large fennel bulbs
  • 1 tsp crushed pink peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup freshly pressed grapefruit juice
  • 1/4 cup virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp mild raw honey
  • 1/2 tsp unprocessed sea salt to taste

  • Wash the fennel bulbs and remove the hard outer layers. Save the feathery green leaves.
  • Using a mandolin or a food processor cut fennel into very thin slices. Place in a bowl.
  • In a separate bowl whisk a light vinaigrette using all the grapefruit juice, olive oil and honey. Add salt to enhance the taste.
  • Gently mix fennel with the vinaigrette. Add crushed pink peppercorns and mix again.
  • Chop the feathery greens and mix with the salad.
  • Cover the salad bowl with a tea towel and place it in the fridge for about ten minutes. This will allow the flavors to mix.
  • Portion out on dinner plates and enjoy nicely chilled in good company! 
If you do not have pink peppercorns at hand, use freshly grind black pepper. This will change the taste a bit, but you will love it nevertheless. For more aroma you can also use chopped feathery green fennel leaves.

In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique

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