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Shaved Fennel Salad with Strawberries & Purple Kale

June 7, 2012

Dear readers, I have two quick news items for you: First, this is my 50th blog post! (Yay!) Second, Spontaneous Tomato now has a Pinterest page; please follow away! And now, without further ado…

Adventures in using up a CSA full-share farm box, Part 2!

Cast of characters: kale, strawberries, and fennel.

Coming up with ways to eat kale is easy for me. Sometimes I have to remind myself of ways to not eat kale… like re-(reverse-?)substituting good old spinach.

Finding solutions for strawberries is even easier. I toss them in cereal, arrange them on crepes, sprinkle them on salads, or eat them straight out of the basket. (Also, I am not above eating a bowl of fresh berries topped with Reddi-whip.*)

But this was actually the first time I’ve ever welcomed fennel into my kitchen.

And here’s why it took me so long: I don’t like the smell or taste of licorice.** Lucky for me this genius fennel marinade, from 101 Cookbooks, peps up the flavor with lemon and honey while dulling down the super aromatic anise-y undertones.

The fennel was lemony and crunchy***, the kale was olive oil-y and happy, and the strawberries were ripe and sweet.

Fennel, you are welcome back any time.

* I had to look up how that was spelled.

** Whoa, according to my dictionary, fennel is part of the parsley family! It’s all making sense now… (Somehow, it makes me feel better about specific picky-eating habits, knowing that they are related to each other, rather than random.)

*** Extra crunch also provided by the walnuts.

(p.s. Part 1 of “Adventures in using up a CSA full share” can be found here.)

Print this recipe.

RECIPE:

Shaved Fennel Salad with Strawberries and Purple Kale
(Fennel marinade and dressing based on: the 101 Cookbooks recipe for Shaved Fennel Salad)

(Serves 4-6)

Ingredients:
~ 1 fennel bulb, shaved
~ 1 large bunch kale, stems removed and chopped into bite-sized leaves
~ 10-15 ripe strawberries, thinly sliced
~ olive oil, to rub into the kale leaves
OPTIONAL:
~ 1/2 cup walnuts, lightly toasted

For the Dressing:
~ 1/4 cup olive oil
~ 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
~ 1 Tbsp. honey
~ pinch of salt

How to make it:

1. Trim the fennel and use a mandoline to shave the bulb into very thin slices.

2. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, and salt. Toss with the fennel and let it marinate for at least 20-30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, massage the kale leaves with olive oil for 5-10 minutes, until they are soft enough to eat (and easy to bite through). Optionally toast the walnuts at 350 degrees for 5 minutes.

4. Once the fennel has marinated, pour the fennel and dressing over the kale leaves, and toss to dress. Top with sliced strawberries and toasted walnuts.

> Tip: If you marinate double the fennel, or just feel that you have extra, it will keep in the fridge for up to a few days for an instant repeat fancy salad! Just top fresh greens with the remaining fennel and dressing. (It was tasty with arugula and sliced apples.)

Print this recipe!

Related recipe posts:
> Strawberry Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese
> Toasted Orzo with Kale, Feta, and Radishes

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. June 7, 2012 11:45 am

    bookmarked this – sounds wonderful

  2. June 7, 2012 12:47 pm

    I, too, have never incorporated fennel into my kitchen, and this recipe seems like a good place to start!

    • June 8, 2012 11:48 am

      Yes, I think it’s a perfect fennel-for-beginners recipe. And now I’ve actually signed up for a CSA half-share, so I might be welcoming even more fennel into my kitchen in the future… Maybe next I’ll try caramelizing it or grilling it, but I also think I’ll keep coming back to shaved fennel on salads. So good!

  3. June 8, 2012 1:26 pm

    what lush colours!

    I agree on fennel being tricky for liquorice-haters — I’ve been baby-stepping my way into it by whirling it into soups and shaving into salads with stronger flavours (beet & feta are lovely partners). NUM.

    • June 9, 2012 12:23 pm

      Thanks for the other fennel ideas! I will definitely try it in a salad with beets and feta; that sounds delicious.

  4. June 8, 2012 1:53 pm

    This salad looks seriously exquisite my friend – delish, delish, delish :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    • June 9, 2012 12:27 pm

      Thanks! I thought so too (so even though I posted about another salad with strawberries recently, I just couldn’t resist!). And having to come up with creative produce combinations like this inspired me to sign up for a summer CSA (half-)share!

  5. June 10, 2012 9:00 pm

    Looks perfect as it. Bet some goat cheese would be an excellent addition, though!

    • June 11, 2012 11:43 am

      True! I’m sure goat cheese would be delicious with this!

Trackbacks

  1. Grilled Summer Squash Pizza « spontaneous tomato
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  3. Strawberry Spinach Salad and a Blog Award « spontaneous tomato
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