Lets start with the ingredients:
– 1 medium sized fennel (you should be able to find this vegetable at most markets; here on the East coast it’s readily available, but you may need to ask around if you live outside a large city).
– 1 bunch of arugula (taste it as it should have a bitter flavor).
– 1 medium sized golden crisp apple (this type of apple has a nice firm texture, but delivers great, sweet, flavor and offers a nice contrast with the bitter arugula).
– ¼ cup of good olive oil.
– 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
– 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
– Salt and pepper to taste
Start by washing the arugula well (1-2 times in cold water is best) and pat drying the green leafy parts. Remove the stems and hand tear the leaves. Next, wash and peel the apple and cut in half (removing the core and seeds). Cut the apple again so you have 4 quarters and thinly slice each piece (you want enough thickness to give a nice crunch, but don’t cut the slices to thick). Next, cut the stalk off the fennel bulb (you can save the bulb for making stock, but it doesn’t have too many uses) and remove the first, outer, layer. I like to cut the fennel bulb in half and cut the bottom portion off of each half that hold the layers together. Thereafter, you can lay each of the halved bulbs on your cutting board and cut think pieces (here you’ll want to cut as thinly as possible.
In terms of the dressing, click here for my basic vinaigrette recipe (using the above ingredients and substituting red wine vinegar for balsamic vinegar; you can also omit the thyme if you’d like).
Enjoy the salad with braised short ribs or with a bowl of steaming lentil soup. Here’s a variation of the above fennel salad served with fish.