Recipe: Fennel Apple Radish Salad

Recipe: Fennel Apple Radish Salad

Fresh, crunchy, and packed with flavor, this versatile salad will wake up your taste buds.

The subtle anise flavor of fresh fennel partners perfectly with sweet-tart apple, and the radish slices add a spark of peppery heat. Both the fennel and apple will discolor after slicing, so be sure to toss these ingredients with the dressing immediately after prepping them.

The concept of this fabulously fresh-tasting salad is really simple: Cut an assortment of seasonal raw vegetables into paper-thin slices, toss them with a light dressing, and add a shower of fresh herbs.

Experiment to create your own versions, keeping in mind that you’ll want a balance of color, texture, and flavor. We prefer the super-thin, even slices you get by using a mandolin, but if you cut the vegetables by hand and your slices are thicker, the salad will still be delicious.

Fennel, Apple, and Radish Salad

Serves 4 to 6

1 large fennel bulb 
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon snipped chives or minced scallion tops (green part)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large crisp apple, such as Fuji or Gala
12 large radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced (about 2 cups)

1. Snip enough of the fennel fronds to measure 1 tablespoon. Set the fennel bulb aside.

2. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, fennel fronds, chives, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and black pepper to taste in a glass jar and seal the lid tightly. Shake the jar vigorously to combine. (Any leftover vinaigrette can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 1 week. Let it return to room temperature and then shake vigorously before using.) 

3. Trim the fennel bulb, cut it in half lengthwise, and then thinly slice the halves. Quarter and core the apple, then thinly slice it.

4. Place the fennel, radish, and apple slices in a large bowl and add three-quarters of the vinaigrette to the vegetables. Toss to lightly coat the salad, and then taste to see if more dressing is needed. Season the salad with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the salad to a platter or individual salad plates. (The salad will lose its crunchiness over time, but it can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 2 days.) 

Excerpted from The Earthbound Cook: 250 Recipes for Delicious Food and a Healthy Planet by Myra Goodman. Photography by Miki Duisterhof and Patrick Tregenza. Workman Publishing ©2010.

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