I have to admit that I have deep feelings of gratitude towards one vegetable – the fennel. Today I decided to introduce it to you in a glamorous role – that of a key ingredient in a salad.
In a moment very special and important for me, I added it to one of my fish recipes. And, I was admitted to the finals of the cooking show ‘Master Chef’.
In my home country we call it wild dill. It has a deep anise aroma and that is why one either likes it a lot or can’t stand neither its taste, nor its aroma. This is why I like it – because it has a character, there’s no middle point with it! Just like me..
If you decide to try out the fennel raw, you will find out it has a very specific aroma. But, if you prefer it softer and with a lighter taste and aroma – cook it.
With this root you may cook thousands of dishes – salads, soups, side dishes, main dishes…it’s a really long list. In Italy this delicious root is used as an ingredient for salami, in UK it’s a must when you cook dish. Its seeds are usually added to a number of bread products, but it also plays an important role in the preparation of some types of liquor.
As far as the nutrients in the fennel are concerned, I know that it contains a lot of essential oils which alleviate stomach ache. It also contains few calories and so is being frequently part of healthy food regimes.
For 2 portions of the salad you need:
- 1 piece of fennel
- 1/2 avocado
- two handfuls of baby spinach
- 10 pieces of baby carrot
- 100 grams smoked salmon
- 30 grams Parmesan cheese
- 1 table spoon cumin
- 1 tea spoon mint
- a few leaves of fresh dill, chopped into small pieces
- dressing sauce made of honey and mustard
- 4 table spoons olive oil
- 10 grams butter
- 1 tea spoon brown sugar
- a few pistachios, finely ground
Start by cutting the fennel root in half. Then, cut each half into 3 pieces. Put baking paper in a pan, lay out the fennel pieces in it, sprinkle them with cumin, mint, a little olive oil and grated Parmesan cheese.
Set the oven to 170-180 degrees and bake the fennel for approx 15 minutes (or until it’s ready). Don’t overcook the fennel – it will become too soft and not that delicious.
Meanwhile take care of the carrots – glaze them in a frying pan with some butter, olive oil, salt and a bit of sugar. Before removing from the stove, sprinkle with fresh dill. Let them cool out a bit.
Check out if the fennel is ready and if it is, let it cool off a bit. Cut half avocado in a few parts and sprinkle with lemon juice so it doesn’t change its color until it’s time to serve the dish.
Put the spinach leaves in a bowl and add the honey-mustard dressing on top. Mix with quick movements, without putting pressure on the leaves.
This dressing is very easy to make – mix honey, mustard, olive oil and lemon juice. Or, use a ready dressing, you can find high-quality dressings of this type in shops.
Use as a basis the spinach leaves which we mixed with the dressing sauce. On top add the fennel, carrots, avocado and salmon. Sprinkle with finely ground pistachio.
What you just got is a very healthy, delicious and beautiful salad, which I consider a main dish.