Tag Archives: fennel

Fennel Slaw

No cook dishes are key for steamy DC summers and this slaw makes the perfect side for just about any meal.  It is great with fried chicken, grilled steak, piled on pulled pork sandwiches, or as a raw accompaniment to grilled veggies.  I subbed in thinly sliced fennel for the typical cabbage for this slaw because it provides more flavor and snap to the dish.  I LOVE fennel, raw and cooked, but I know a lot of people still aren’t super familiar with it.

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This prehistoric looking bulb can be intimidating but its really easy to break down and almost all of it is edible.  The stalks can be a little woody so for a raw salad like this I toss them but if you were going to cook the fennel you can slice them up just like the bulb.  The fronds are delicious and are great to reserve and sprinkle on top of any finished fennel dish.

So first cut off the stalks, saving them for another use or for the fronds.  Then slice off the bottom, which is tough, and toss.  Cut the bulb through the middle until you have two halves.  There is a core that is also tough so for a raw dish it should be cut out (if it’s being cooked down you can leave in the core).  Cut along the edge of the core and it pops right out.  Then slice or dice away!  For this slaw I used a mandoline because it’s much quicker than using a knife, but if you don’t have one just make sure to try and get thin, consistent slices.  I have a relatively cheap mandoline that I like because it doesn’t take up a lot of drawer space and is dishwasher friendly.  This one also gets very good reviews – what you want to make sure is that it has a hand guard and at least a couple of thicknesses you can choose from.  Now that you are a fennel cutting expert you should make this and this.  I will be serving this up for the rest of the summer or at least while it’s still 90 plus!!

Fennel Slaw (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:  no cook dishes
Special Equipment:  a sharp knife or a mandoline

  • 1 large fennel bulb (or 2 small), cored and sliced thinly (fronds reserved)
  • 1 fresno chili, sliced thinly
  • 2 scallions, light green and white parts, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (I use light)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (I also use light here)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of honey

In a large bowl toss the fennel, chili and scallions together.  In a small bowl whisk the dressing together – the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, and honey.

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Taste and season with salt and pepper.  Start by adding half the dressing to the slaw, combine and then continue to add until dressed to your liking (I used 90% of the dressing and it was “lightly dressed.”)  Serve right away or store in the fridge overnight.  Bring to room temperature and sprinkle with chopped fennel fronds before serving.

Fennel slaw

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

Special Equipment:  a sharp knife or a mandoline

  • 1 large fennel bulb (or 2 small), cored and sliced thinly (fronds reserved)
  • 1 fresno chili, sliced thinly
  • 2 scallions, light green and white parts, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (I use light)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (I also use light here)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of honey

In a large bowl toss the fennel, chili and scallions together.  In a small bowl whisk the dressing together – the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, and honey.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.  Start by adding half the dressing to the slaw, combine and then continue to add until dressed to your liking (I used 90% of the dressing and it was “lightly dressed.”)  Serve right away or store in the fridge overnight.  Bring to room temperature and sprinkle with chopped fennel fronds before serving.

Holiday Salad

When the holidays come around I basically wrap myself in everything Christmas – the house full of decorations, 24/7 carols on my iPod, and festive cocktails and dishes.  This salad is pulled from one of my recommended cookbooks, Ottolenghi, from Monday’s post Peep My Cookbooks.  It’s crisp and refreshing, which makes it a nice foil to the often heavy, comfort food type dishes that get cooked in December.  It also happens to be red, white and green!  The pomegranate seeds are little jewels in the salad but they aren’t just for show – they add a nice pop of juice and tartness.

Lots of supermarkets these days sell little containers of the seeds themselves but it’s a lot cheaper to buy a whole pomegranate and seed it yourself.  It’s really very easy (instructions below) and with the leftover seeds you can decorate a cocktail, stir them into rice or top ice cream.  Sumac isn’t the easiest spice to run down, middle eastern markets will carry it.  If you are in DC area, Yekta is an amazing Iranian market in Rockville.  Luckily our friends Debbie and Toby live around the corner so anytime I visit them I make sure to stop and stock up.  Otherwise you could find it online.  If you can’t find it I would just skip it as there isn’t really a comparable taste, smokey and lemony all at once.  Don’t worry, the rest of the components still make it a great dish.  This is also a good one for a buffet because it’s served at room temperature and the fennel won’t wilt under the dressing like regular lettuce will.  Doesn’t it make you want to run out and grab the book?

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Fennel and Feta Salad (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration: Fennel and Feta with Pomegranate Seeds and Sumac from Ottolenghi
Special Equipment:  mandoline (or a very sharp knife)

  • 1/2 pomegranate or 1/3 cup seeds
  • 2 fennel bulbs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sumac
  • the juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 tablespoons tarragon leaves
  • 2 tablespoons parsley leaves
  • 2 1/2 ounces feta, cut into small cubes

First seed the pomegranate – halve the pomegranate and hold one half, cut side down over a bowl.  Use a spoon or another hard cooking tool to smack the skin side of the pomegranate.  Keep “spanking” the pomegranate and the seeds will loosen and fall into the bowl.

Set the seeds aside.  Next cut off the stalks of the fennel bulb saving some of the frilly green fronds for garnish.  Discard the outer layer if it’s brown or bruised.  Cut the fennel bulb in half and then use your knife to cut out the triangle of core on each half (its pretty tough but you can leave the core in if you don’t want to do this step).  Using a mandoline or a sharp knife cut the fennel in very thin slices.

Place the fennel in a bowl and toss it with the olive oil, sumac, lemon juice, tarragon, parsley and fennel fronds.  Toss well and season with salt and pepper.  Add the pomegranate seeds and feta and toss lightly until they are incorporated.

Holiday Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

Inspiration: Fennel and Feta with Pomegranate Seeds and Sumac from Ottolenghi
Special Equipment:  mandoline (or a very sharp knife)

  • 1/2 pomegranate or 1/3 cup seeds
  • 2 fennel bulbs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sumac
  • the juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 tablespoons tarragon leaves
  • 2 tablespoons parsley leaves
  • 2 1/2 ounces feta, cut into small cubes

First seed the pomegranate – halve the pomegranate and hold one half, cut side down over a bowl.  Use a spoon or another hard cooking tool to smack the skin side of the pomegranate.  Keep “spanking” the pomegranate and the seeds will loosen and fall into the bowl.  Set the seeds aside.  Next cut off the stalks of the fennel bulb saving some of the frilly green fronds for garnish.  Discard the outer layer if its brown or bruised.  Cut the fennel bulb in half and then use your knife to cut out the triangle of core on each half (its pretty tough but you can leave the core in if you don’t want to do this step).  Using a mandoline or a sharp knife cut the fennel in very thin slices.  Place the fennel in a bowl and toss it with the olive oil, sumac, lemon juice, tarragon, parsley and fennel fronds.  Toss well and season with salt and pepper.  Add the pomegranate seeds and feta and toss lightly until they are incorporated.

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