This healthy, crispy fennel salad with grilled cherry tomatoes is a typical example of a fall and winter salad. The soft hints of licorice combine well with the intense sweetness of the roasted cherry tomatoes. The creaminess of the yogurt dressing and nuts -if used- compliment this with softness and richness. And this salad is very easy and quick to make. The health benefits of fresh fennel and of lightly grilled tomatoes in olive oil (vitamins A, E and C in tomatoes and vitamins B and C in fennel) have been well publicized.
The art of making fennel salad
Cut away the fennel fronds and stems. Use the fennel fronds in the salad. Optionally reserve the stems for making a vegetable broth later. Use a sharp cooks knife to cut slivers from the fennel bulb across the grain. It is important to keep the fennel slivers in contact with the dressing for several hours. In that time the tomatoes can be slow-grilled. For the dressing, be careful not to deviate too much from the indicated proportions. The lactic acidity of the yoghurt can be overwhelming when used in too large proportion.
Ingredients for the dressing
- 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp honey
- 3 tbsp olive oil first pressing preferred
- 4 tbsp (greek) yogurt
- a grind of the pepper mill
Ingredients for the salad
- 12 oz fennel bulb (around that size or use more smaller ones)
- 15 cherry tomatoes
- handful nuts (pistachio or walnut) (optional)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- pinch of sea salt
- grind of the pepper mill
Making the dressing
Mix the lemon juice with the salt, pepper and honey.
Dribble the olive oil under rigorous mixing with a fork or whisk into the lemon juice/honey mixture. It will form a nice thick dressing
To this add the yogurt and mix well
Make the salad
Remove the stems and fronds of the fennel. Use the fronds for the salad and use the stems for other uses
Cut the bulb perpendicular to where the stems were with a sharp knife in slivers. Cut the slivers in 1 inch pieces. Remove any parts where the roots were attached.
Mix the fennel slivers with the dressing well and let rest in the fridge for 2 hrs
meanwhile wash the tomatoes, dry them and place them in a heat resistant pan, sprinkled with the olive oil, salt and pepper under the grill oven at 190 C. Do this 30 min before serving the salad
prepare the nuts when using
Check the tomatoes and let them cool down a bit before adding them to the cold salad
sprinkle with nuts - if using- and serve
Method: raw and grilling
Food allergy & intolerance information: milk (yogurt)
1. Exercise care with the addition of apple. The fresh notes of the apple can easily overwhelm the subtle faint taste of licorice that the fennel displays. I prefer the addition of some honey and not overdose the yogurt.
2. For a full vegan version, leave out the yogurt. Instead consider to add some pistachio nuts or freshly peeled walnuts to the salad