It may not be summer anymore, but who says you can’t have a great tasting salad just because it’s fall? This apple and fennel salad topped with a tangy honey dressing is Fall’s answer to salads.
I know it’s still a bit early for many people to be thinking about Thanksgiving dinner, but some start thinking about the big meal right after they hand out that last Snicker’s bar on Halloween. This salad recipe is for both of you. It’s a recipe that you’ll happily make and eat yourself or something that’s simple yet looks glamorous enough to be put out in front of your guests for Thanksgiving dinner.
If you’re not familiar with fennel, it comes in the form of a white bulb with green stalks shooting out from it. It looks rather alien, but don’t be afraid. This bulb is easily tamed. All you need to do is cut off the stalks to get at the bulb, which is what you need for this fennel salad. The stalks are great to add to stock you might make and you could always chop off some of the frilly fronds to toss into this salad too.
The flavor fennel has is like licorice, the black stuff…not the red stuff. In fact, that’s why you’ll find fennel being called anise in some stores. But it’s not anywhere near as strong as biting into a piece of the chewy black stuff. It’s a light licorice flavor. It pairs really well with chicken and turkey. In this salad, the flavor really blends in with the rest of the ingredients that are in there, so you won’t be bowled over by it.
My friend’s over at Frieda’s Produce sent me a box of fennel to play with and that’s how this fennel salad came to be. (I’ll probably roast the rest of the haul because roasted fennel is just so good…look for that recipe to show up here on the blog soon.)
I started with a bed of spicy baby arugula (this salad is not light on flavor…that’s for sure). Then I shaved the fennel (horizontally) on my death blade (aka the mandoline). I set it on the second setting because I wanted it to be a little bit thicker so you really get a great crunch from it. Then I shaved a honeycrisp apple on the very thinnest setting. Since these apples are so sweet, I wanted the flavor to be a bit more subtle in the salad. For more crunch I added toasted almond slices and tossed in some pomegranate arils for the crunch and the pretty color.
To really make this salad I mixed up a super simple apple cider and honey dressing. The tang of the dressing really amps up all the flavors in this fennel salad.
I hope you’ll bear with me in that there isn’t much of a precise recipe for this salad, except for the dressing. But I really think some salads come together better with just eyeballing it.
- For the Salad
- 1 5 Ounce Package Baby Arugula
- 1 Fennel Bulb
- 1 Honeycrisp Apple
- Toasted Almond Slices
- Pomegranate Arils
- For the Dressing
- 4 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons Honey
- 2 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard
- For the salad
- Arrange the arugula on 4 salad plates.
- Remove the stems from the fennel bulb and slice bulb horizontally. (This will give you rings of fennel.)
- Cut apple in half and thinly slice apple vertically.
- Arrange the fennel and apple slices on and in the arugula that's already on the plates.
- Top with toasted almond slices and pomegranate arils.
- For the Dressing
- Add the three ingredients together in a small bowl and whisk to thoroughly combine.
- Drizzle dressing on top of each of the salads and serve.
- Or you can prepare the salads ahead of time and top with the dressing when ready to serve. Just make sure that you put the salads and dressing into the refrigerator.
Welcome to My Man's Belly! Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about the site or if there's a recipe you'd like to see here. Have a great day.