Sunday, July 20, 2008

Fennel, Apple and Pecan Salad

A couple months ago, I asked my mom why she had never introduced us to fennel when we were kids. I told her I felt like I missed out because I only recently discovered it. At this point my mom confessed she'd never heard of it when we were kids. It was a sad moment, thinking of all those fennel recipes I'd missed out on tasting.

Always one to make up for missed opportunities, while leafing through my new cookbook Serving Up the Harvest, I noticed that fennel was one of the vegetables she highlights. Sure fennel is a mid- to late- summer vegetable. And the only place around I can get it is at the Meijer's in the next county. Still I was bound and determined I was going to try at least one of the fennel recipes in my new book. The heat seems to have broken around here, but the humidity is still killer, so I decided to go with the Fennel, Apple, and Pecan Salad. No cooking required.

This sweetness of the fennel plays against the tang of the buttermilk and the sour of the apple just perfectly. It's crunchy. It's cool. The toasted pecans really add some interesting accents to the texture and flavor. And frankly, it's kind of pretty. I like to think of it as a fennel slaw almost. It would go great with barbecue. I cut my fennel and apple small so that I could get bites that were fennel, pecan and apple all at the same time. And I'm glad I did.

Fennel, Apple, and Pecan Salad
from Serving Up the Harvest by Andrea Chesman

1/3 cup buttermilk
2 scallions, white and light green parts only, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
2 fennel bulbs, trimmed, cut into quarters, and thinly sliced
2 apples, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced
1 cup pecans, toasted
Chopped fennel fronds to garnish

To make the dressing, whisk together the buttermilk, scallions, oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl.
Combine the fennel, apples, and pecans in a large bowl. Toss to mix. Pour in the dressing. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Garnish with the fennel fronds and serve.


Cookie baker Lynn said...

Sounds like a great salad for a hot day!

Anonymous said...

Looks awesome. Too bad you always have to drive to the "next county" to get your specialty items.

glamah16 said...

Im just checking in with you as I have missed some posts. Boy have you been busy! Its funny, so much of what I eat now, I never ate as a child. I dont even think half of it was available. Thank goodness for for the various persons, movements, etc that bring amazing produce and producats to our awareness.

Elra said...

fennel and apple they are good together. I love this combination.

LisaRene said...

I don't often come across a recipe for a true buttermilk dressing. Love the salad ingredients, very refreshing!

Fennel is a fabulous veggie, I hope your local grocery starts to carry it so you can enjoy it more often!

GEETA said...

Sounds delicious with an exquisite combination of fennel, pecan and apple.
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April said...

This looks delish!!! BTW, I have tagged you...

Tartelette said...

Looks and souds fanstatic! Braised or roasted fennel is my favorite, almost tastes like candy!