Saturday, January 4, 2014

Fennel Arugula Salad by Colleen Guenther

My family and I have had, seemingly, a trillion pasta meals in the last couple of weeks to gain comfort in this utter cold. Thus, we have been craving healthier meals that are not only crisp but fresh. I was really in the mood for fennel and here is a recipe that bodes well with it's intrinsic flavor cue of black licorice. Now, the funny thing is that I am really not a fan of black licorice but when paired with the right ingredients, fennel can become it's very own thing and truly transform itself. If you really hate the taste of black licorice, try cooking it, by either sautéing or roasting it, to mellow it's flavor and adding more sweetness. Whatever you do, please don't give up on it if you've tried it before and did not like it…. like people, give it a chance. Remember, a fine wine is better with age. Age, is wisdom. Wisdom means being open to possibilites without judgement.

There are so many ways that you can deal with shaved fennel in a salad and I was contemplating all day on how I wanted to enjoy it. Yes, this is how I generally spend my weekend days, thinking about flavors and what "sounds good". Overall, citrus flavors go really well with fennel so I was primarily thinking of grapefruit or orange but was not in the mood to "eat" citrus in my salad so I decided to just make a citrus dressing to complement the fennel. Make it and enjoy!

What you Need:

1 bulb of fennel, thinly shaved
1/2 cup european cucumber, thinly shaved
1.5 squeezed lemons worth of juice
1 TBS dill
1/2 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Squeeze of 1 large orange
3 or more cups of Arugula
1/4-1/3 cup of feta cheese


Mix everything together, taste and add more of whatever you want. That's how cooking should be! Keep it simple, keep it in the moment.

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