Pear and Fennel Salad Recipe
This Fennel Salad Recipe is a Perfect Fall Salad
When fatigue from typical leafy green salads has set in, this fennel salad recipe is the perfect antidote. Crisp and crunchy, it can be made in advance, and will hold up well without browning. I like to make the dressing first, and immediately dress the sliced fennel and pears in it. The acid in the dressing will prevent the veggies from browning, and the flavors will seep into the fennel and pear. I find the best fennel at farmer’s markets, but some grocery stores also carry it. I used an Asian pear in this recipe, as they are hard and crisp like an apple. Another possibility is a Bosc variety pear, as they are also harder when ripe. The finished dish would also be good with a softer pear, but I definitely prefer the crisper variety. This pear and fennel salad is delicious alongside Crispy Skin Salmon with Za-atar Spice Blend.
What To Do With Fennel?
This seems to be an unending question. While popular in some traditional cuisines, fennel has never quite caught hold as a mainstream ingredient in the United States. It’s a shame, because its sweet anise licorice-y flavor offers a different flavor profile than a typical green salad. Fennel is easy to choose–just pick out a largish bulb that is a light green color. You will cut out the core and remove any outer parts that are tough or brown, so having a large bulb to trim away at is a good idea. In this recipe, the bulb and fronds are used. The top stalks tend to be tough, and are good to use in a veggie stock for a light anise flavor.
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2/3 cup walnut halves
- 1 medium bulb fennel
- 1/2 Asian pear or small Bosc pear
- 2 oz. Manchego cheese (optional)
- 5 leaves basil
- 5 Tablespoons Lemon vinaigrette (recipe below)
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large lemon
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 1 small clove garlic
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Add the oil to a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add walnuts and toss for about 1 minute. Season with a hefty pinch of salt. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
- Remove stalks from fennel. Mince fronds from fennel and set aside. Core bulb and cut into 1/8" thick slices. Core pear and cut into 1/8" thick slices. Crumble cheese into 1/2" chunks. Tear basil into pieces. Combine all these items with the vinaigrette. Transfer to a serving platter and top with the walnuts.
- Juice lemon. Combine 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice with remaining ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.