Fennel & Onion Salad

Yield: Serves 6 to 8 as part of a 5 or 6 dish antipasto platter or 6 as a salad

Make this in winter or early spring, when fennel is younger, rounder, and less stringy. Flat, skinny bulbs are not very tender or flavorful. This is a variation on onion salad, with the fennel adding sweetness and substance. It is delicious served with swordfish or a Roasted Whole Fish. It is perfect relish for a prosciutto sandwich.

  • 2 large fennel bulbs (about 1 pound each)
  • 1 red onion, sliced paper thin
  • 3 tbs lemon juice
  • 4 tbs Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
Trim the feathery greens from the fennel bulbs and reserve. Cut off the stalks and discard. Cut in half through the stem end and place cut side down on a cutting board. Slice very thin, keeping the layers together. Place the fennel and onion slices in a colander and rinse for several minutes with very cold water. Dry in a salad spinner or blot dry. Put the slices in a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice, 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, and the salt and pepper. Pull off the leaves of the reserved fennel greens and add about half add them to the salad. Toss to combine. Let stand for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with the remaining lemon juice and olive oil and toss again. Cover and refrigerate if not using immediately. The salad will keep for about 2 days.

Reproduced by permission from Warner Books.
Mark Peel & Nancy Silverton at Home: Two Chefs Cook for Family and Friends
© 1994 by Mark Peel & Nancy Silverton. All rights reserved