Fennel is one of those under-appreciated vegetables–maybe not as overlooked as poor rutabaga but certainly not a shining star like the carrot or this year’s golden child, cauliflower. Fennel gets written off with “it tastes like licorice,” but anise is really just a subtle undertone of this crisp bulb. I like to eat fennel raw. It’s my favorite vegetable to put on a crudite platter because its delicate flavor works well with almost any dip and its inclusion seems to surprise people.
It is this appreciation of fennel that made me super receptive when my friend Ilene texted me a link to this Fennel and Red Pepper Salad recipe from the NYTimes with a note saying, “My new favorite salad.” The fact that it was a simple recipe (about all I can handle at home these days) and claimed to only get better–never soggy–with time, had me heading off to the supermarket first thing Sunday morning.
I threw together the Fennel and Red Pepper Salad in all of five minutes and it was love at first bite. I then held off for another six hours until dinner, to see if the “better with time” claim held true. Lo and behold, better it was and so you can count on finding this new salad in the prepared food case at Potomac Grocer throughout the fall and likely even into the winter. It’s a perfect addition to our selection because it holds up so well, goes with anything and it stars an ingredient that may not normally find it’s way into your cart at the supermarket.
- 1 lb trimmed fennel bulbs, quartered and cut into very thin crosswise slices
- 1 lg red bell pepper, seeded and cut in thin 2-inch slices
- 1 to 2 Tbls minced parsley
- 1 Tbls minced chives
- 1 oz shaved Parmesan
- 2 Tbls fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbls sherry vinegar or champagne vinegar
- 1 small garlic clove, very finely minced
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
- Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
- Whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil.
- Toss with the salad and serve.
- This is a great keeper. The vegetables marinate in the dressing, and they don’t get soggy, just saturated and extremely tasty.