Thursday, 12 November 2009

Fennel & Celery Salad with Orange-Anise Dressing

Ontario fennel is scarce as hen's teeth. Mostly it comes from the U.S., but last time I was in the grocery store I saw some labelled "product of Canada". I asked the produce department if they could pin it down more than that, but they couldn't. So there's a chance it came from Ontario - although they suspected Quebec was the most likely source. Anyway, in the spirit of lobbying Ontario farmers to grow fennel (no, it is not anise as the grocery stores insist on labelling it) I bought some. This was one of the results.

Anise seed and fennel have similar licorice-like flavours that get along very well, and oranges and cranberries are buddies from way back. You could up the Ontario quotient a bit by throwing in a bit of cut-up apple if you liked.

4 servings
20 minutes prep time

Fennel and Celery Salad with Orange-Anise Dressing
Make the Salad:
1/2 of a medium head of fennel
1 large celery stalk
1 1/2 clementines
1/4 cup dried cranberries

Trim the fennel, discarding the tough round stalks at the top and a slice of the thick base. Rinse the remainder, and slice it as thinly as you can. Chop it up a little as well. Clean and trim the celery stalk and slice it in the same way. Peel the first clementine, and divide it in sections. Cut the sections in half, and discard the seeds. Add the pieces to the salad. Cut the second clementine in half. Reserve half for the dressing, and peel the remaining half. Pick out any seeds, and pull it apart into segments. Add them to the salad. Add the cranberries.

Make the Dressing:
2 tablespoons mayonnaise (light is fine)
the juice of 1/2 clementine
1/4 teaspoon anise seed, finely ground
salt & pepper to taste

Put the mayonnaise in a small bowl. Squeeze in the juice of the clementine, discarding any seeds. Grind the anise seed, and add it along with a grind of salt and pepper. Mix until smooth.

Toss the salad in the dressing. It can be served at once, or kept chilled for up to 2 or 3 hours.


Ricki said...

So glad to find another Ontario blogger! I've been browsing through your recipes and see lots I'd like to make (we must share some of the same food sensitivities!). I must say that I have never been a huge fan of fennel in the past, but this salad does sound good.

Ferdzy said...

Hi Ricki! Thanks for commenting. Fennel is one of those things people tend to love or... not.