Monday, December 6, 2010

Recipe: Fennel and Mushroom Salad


I'm not sure why, but I've been craving some of our Fennel and Mushroom Salad lately. Perhaps it's the fresh pop of citrus or the unexpected undertones of fennel, or perhaps it's simply because it reminds me of bright spring days. This salad always brings a smile and hearty approval.


Our homegrown mushrooms are doing quite well under my husband's watchful eye, we've got fennel in the freezer from our summer over-abundance, and I just happened to buy some meyer lemons at the grocery yesterday. Perhaps it's time to give in to the craving...

Frozen, but still perfectly useful!

Fennel and Mushroom Salad
2 large or 4 smaller salads

1 medium-large bulb fennel - diced, reserve fronds if possible
2 large Portabello mushrooms, diced
2 tablespoons Olive Oil (+ extra for grilling)
1/2 Lemon - juice and zest
1 teaspoon Brown or Dijon Mustard
1 teaspoon Tarragon (fresh or, if need be, dried)
Salt and Pepper
Hard Sharp Cheese - i.e. Asiago or Parmesan. (I love it with Raspberry Bellavitano)

1) Toss fennel and mushrooms in olive oil to coat, season with salt and pepper.

2) Grill or sauté fennel and mushrooms until slightly caramelized and softened.

3) For the dressing: In a jar with a lid put olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, mustard, tarragon and a pinch each salt and pepper. Shake, taste and season to your preference.

4) On your plates arrange a handful or so of fresh spinach. Place grilled fennel and mushrooms on the bed of spinach, top with 1-2 teaspoons of dressing, and finish with a grating or ribbons of hard cheese. If you were able to reserve the fennel fronds dice some of them up and sprinkle over top of the salad.


Just for fun - anyone remember my friends who ate all the fennel fronds this summer?
Good thing they were so beautiful!

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