Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fennel, Celery and Herb Salad

Whooosh! Hear that? It's the sound of fall blowing into Southern California. The winds pick up, the air chills (a few degrees or so) and the sky gets threatening with dark clouds and sometimes spits a few rain drops on us mere mortals. That also means it's time to get creative with fall salads. Here is the first of many.

Fennel and celery are the stars of this lovefest. Both have a juicy crunch that I adore and keeping it simple with just some fresh cilantro for a little punch keeps the veggies front and center. This is a bit of a riff on this salad, first introduced to me by Mark Bittman - not personally of course, I can only dream! He added shaved parmesan and used red wine vinegar. This version is lighter, taste wise, with just a squeeze of lemon, salt, pepper and olive oil. It really brings out the fresh flavor of the fennel and celery.

Feel free to use your favorite fresh herbs if you are not a fan of cilantro. The soft green ones like parsley or basil or mint will work better than the woodier rosemary or sage.

Fennel, Celery and Herb Salad
(serves 2-3)

1 large fennel bulb, end trimmed, sliced as thin as possible
1 stalk celery, sliced in 1/4 inch slices
1-2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped (according to taste)
1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil

Combine veggies and cilantro in bowl and mix well. Squeeze lemon over all and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. If you allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes, the juices of the vegetables will release, intensifying the flavors.


Cold Borscht with Chive Blossoms and Dill at Honey From Rock
Blackberry Slump at Simply Recipes
Valencia Orange Curd at Nutmeg Nanny

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