Though unfamiliar to many Americans, fennel is hugely popular in Italy, where it is called on for a variety of purposes, from braising to use as the basis of a simple salad as it is here. If you’d like the fennel especially cold and crunchy, refrigerate the sliced fennel for 15 to 30 minutes before dressing and serving it. Fennel has a particular affinity for fish, but it can be served with just about any protein. Because fennel seeds are often included in sausage, I like pairing this dish in the same way with grilled or roasted pork.
- Yield: 4 to 6 Servings
- 2 large fennel bulbs (about 12 ounces each)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 to 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ut the fronds off the fennel stalks, finely chop them, and set them aside. Cut off and discard the stalks. Cut the fennel bulbs lengthwise into quarters and cut out and discard the cores.
- Shave the fennel crosswise as thinly as possible on a mandoline, or use a sharp heavy knife and steady hands.
- Put the fennel slices in a large mixing bowl. Pour in the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Taste and add more lemon juice, if desired. Toss to coat,
- then transfer the fennel to a serving bowl or plate, top with the fennel fronds, and serve.