Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Pear & Fennel Salad

I've made this salad a couple of times in the last week or two. Ontario-grown fennel is horribly hard to find, so I was thrilled to find a bit at the Meaford 100 Mile-Market recently. It may be one of those things you have to grow yourself. Actually, even with imported fennel, this could still reach my 80% Ontarian goal.

Fennel has a sweet, mild licorice-like flavour, and it goes well with the sweet and fragrant fruity flavours of the pears and cranberries. The nuts add a deeper note and a good crunch, along with the celery. This was a very popular salad.

By the way, some grocery stores mistakenly label fennel as anise, which it is not although they both have a licorice-like flavour.

2 to 4 servings
20 minutes prep time

Pear and Fennel Salad
1 head leaf lettuce
1 small bunch rocket (arugula) or watercress
1 stalk of celery
1/2 to 1/3 of a head of bulb fennel
1/3 to 1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 to 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or sunflower seeds
2 medium bosc pears

Wash and tear up the lettuce and rocket or watercress, and dry them well. Arrange them in the salad bowl. Slice the celery and fennel thinly, and arrange them over the greens. Top with the cranberries and nuts, and the pears, washed and chopped into bite-sized pieces.

1/3 cup walnut or hazelnut oil
1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
salt & pepper
1 tablespoon currant jelly*

Whisk the dressing ingredients together and drizzle over the salad.

*You could also use currant catsup, ginger marmalade, a runny chutney, or other sweet, tangy preserves - just something to give some sweetness and tang to the dressing.

1 comment:

Ruth Daniels said...

One word....Awesome! I love it.