I’ve changed parts of this recipe (that I recently found) because I made “newbie” mistakes.
First, I didn’t read the recipe close enough so when it said “white balsamic vinegar,” I read balsamic vinegar which I already had in my cupboard. Second, the recipe called for white pepper and I read “pepper” which I, again, already had in my cupboard. That’s what happens when you try to find a new recipe quickly.
I think the original recipe was trying to make the salad look “white.” But you know what? It turned out great!. The recipe below includes the changes I made to the original. Oh — one last thing. This was supposed to be a vegan salad but I used REAL cheese. So, if you want it to be vegan, just use soy cheese or leave the cheese out.
Ingredients for the salad
- 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced or shaved
- 2 pears, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted in a 350 degree oven for 8 minutes or so
- Parmesan cheese, grated
- 3 tablespoons walnut oil
- 2 tablespoons brown balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons agave syrup
- A pinch of salt
- A pinch of pepper
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground fennel seeds
- Combine the walnut oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and the agave syrup in a small bowl and mix the ingredients well.
- Add the salt and pepper to your taste.
- Grind the fennel seeds and add them to the dressing. I used my small coffee grinder (cleaned, of course) to grind the fennel seeds and it worked great.
- Whisk everything together and set this dressing aside.
- Chop the walnuts, toast them and put them in a small bowl until needed.
- Slice the core (bottom) of the fennel.
- Cut the fennel bulb in half and slice it thinly.
- Slice the pears thinly (with or without the peel, to your delight!).
- Mix the pears and fennel slices together with a small bit of dressing in them to coat it (to avoid discoloration).
- Sprinkle the walnuts and cheese on top.
- Serve the extra dressing on the side.
- Fennel also goes by the name of anise in the grocery store
- The whole top portion of the fennel is not edible although some people use the grassy-looking part as garnish
- If you’re going to “shave” instead of slice the fennel, a useful tool is a mandolin
- Here’s a link to a Youtube video on fennel that I found useful (it’s not for this recipe but as a newbie cook I found it quite helpful)
- Here’s a picture of the top of the fennel. The bottom looks like a tulip bulb.