Fennel, Red Onion, Celery and Caper Salad (serves 4)
I am not a big fan of liqorice/aniseed (hated it in candy/sweets) so didn’t really expect to enjoy fennel, but I do. It is funny how one’s taste buds change over time. I used to avoid yoghurt back in the day when the only flavor was natural and you had to add a lot of sugar. When I was an au pair in France the family had a yoghurt maker and they put strawberry jam at the bottom – now you’re talking! Loved yoghurt ever since and now, darn it, I can’t eat it! Same thing happened with spinach back in the day that spinach was just plain old spinach sitting soggily on your plate. Then I had it with a cheese sauce, with garlic, in mashed potato with grated cheese (great way to get my kids to eat veg), in a soufflé, in an omelet, baby spinach in a salad – love it when it fits with my intolerances. So, same thing with fennel – cooked, raw (my very favorite salad includes fennel – an absolute winner – see recipe for Fennel, celery and avocado salad). In fact, if you substitute fennel for celery you can have a delicious chicken/tuna salad (the American traditional chicken/tuna salad i.e. mixed together with mayonnaise). I served this salad with smoked mackerel.
1 bulb of fennel – thinly sliced
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup diced celery
2 tsp. capers – drained
Juice of half a lemon (I used a Meyer lemon as they have a stronger taste)
1 1/2 to 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (depending on how tart you like the dressing to taste)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Put fennel, red onion, celery and capers in a salad bowl.
Pour over lemon juice and olive oil and mix well.
Season with salt and pepper