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