- Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
- Skill Level: Easy
- Cost: Inexpensive
- Favorited: 36 Times
I grew up in an Italian household in upstate New York, where my mother served simple salads that involved little more I than fresh raw vegetables--anything from cauliflower to fennel--tossed with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. Here I've built on that foundation by adding green apple, lemon zest, and parsley. High-quality extra virgin olive oil is key to this salad's success.
- 2 medium fennel bulbs
- 2 Granny Smith apples, unpeeled, halved, cored, and thinly sliced
- About 1½ ounces pecorino Romano, shaved with a vegetable peeler (½ cup shavings)
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Coarse salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Chop off the fronds where they meet the body of one fennel bulb. Halve the fennel, then thinly slice it, using a mandoline or a very sharp, thin-bladed chef's knife. Repeat with the other bulb. You should have 2 cups of slices. Set them aside. Chop 1 tablespoon of the fronds and set it aside separately. Discard the remaining fronds.
Put the fennel and apple slices in a bowl. Add the pecorino Romano, lemon zest, ¼ cup olive oil, and parsley. Toss gently. Taste, and season with salt and pepper.
Arrange the salad on a large, chilled serving plate. Drizzle more olive oil generously over the top, and scatter with the chopped fennel fronds just before serving.
If you can't find pecorino Romano cheese, or simply prefer Parmigiano-Reggiano, by all means substitute it.
Crisp, sweet pears, such as Bosc, are a good autumnal replacement for the apples.
© 2004 Alfred Portale
Nutritional information is based on 1/8 teaspoon added salt per serving.