Very, very thinly sliced fresh fennel makes a wonderful salad. It’s slightly crunchy, but not too toothsome, the citrus compliments the fennel perfectly. The rhubarb was a nice slightly sweet, and slightly sour, too. Balance, baby, balance. When I use fennel, I always save the celery-like “stems” for soup. I throw them in a freezer bag, toss the bag in the freezer (Aren’t I clever? You know, using a freezer bag in the freezer!) and save them until I want to make soup, maybe with white beans, or potatoes. Fennel and starch play together exceptionally well. I use the thready fronds in sauces, soups and yes, salads. But, not today. Not in this salad.
First, I tossed the thinly sliced rhubarb with rice wine vinegar, popped the bowl in the microwave for 1 minute on HIGH. I just wanted to soften the rhubarb ever so slightly; cool it to room temperature, please.
I shaved the fennel bulb into thin, thin slices. I use a mandoline, not the musical instrument. That lacks the “e” at the end. No, this is a great apparatus when you want to slice things evenly. You can purchase mandolins in any decent cook shop or here. This is very similar to the one I’ve had for years. You can pay a heap or a little. For what I want, this is just perfect.
I had one garlic scape left, that got thinly sliced on the diagonal. No scape? Then use scallions instead. Of course, you can’t see the scape bits, but they’re there. There were some absolutely beautiful apricots in the store, but you can use peaches or nectarines, if that’s what you have or want to use. I thinly sliced the apricots, grated some orange zest into the bowl, added the frozen orange juice concentrate, salt and some quick pickled red onion slices I had made. Pretty, isn’t it?The Goddess loves colorful food. It must be the gypsy in her soul. Any, she tossed the whole thing together. Yes, The Goddess uses her hands. They are attached to the ends of her arms for a reason. Wait, there are some little bits of the scape…see them?
Shaved Fennel Salad with Citrus
- 3/4 cup thinly sliced rhubarb (optional)
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 fresh fennel bulb, cut in half and very thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
- 2-3 tablespoons thinly sliced garlic scapes (or 1 scallion)
- 2 fresh apricots (peaches, plums, apples, pears, nectarines can be used, too)
- 1 tablespoon frozen orange juice concentrate (FOJC)
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons honey or maple syrup
- 2 large pinches of salt (you may need more)
- 2-3 tablespoons thinly sliced red onion
- Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
- Orange or grapefruit suprêmes (optional)
- Freshly ground black pepper
If using the rhubarb, place the slices in a microwaveable bowl, drizzle with the rice wine vinegar and zap for 1 minute. Let stand until almost room temperature, about 20 minutes. Toss in the remaining ingredients and toss the thing together. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Toss and serve.
NOTE: If you omit the rhubarb, use the rice wine vinegar. Use whatever fruit is in season and looks good. This is a very flexible salad; the amounts given should be thought of as suggestions.
Shaved Fennel Salad with Citrus Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2018. All rights reserved.