Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fennel Salad

Haven't had fennel before? If you like celery, it's got the same crunch. If you like licorice, it's got a similar taste. An oft overlooked source of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber, fennel is also a good source of phosphorous and folic acid. As far as fiber is concerned, a 3-1/2 ounce serving packs 3.1 grams of fiber. Don't know what it looks like to buy some? It's usually available fresh in the fall, so you might start seeing some soon.

To prepare, cut off the base and wash. Save the tough stalks and leaves. Stalks add a delicious flavor on grilled meats or vegetables, and the fronds are a great addition to salads and soups. The base itself can be sliced vertically through the bulb, then either added as is to roast vegetables, or sliced crosswise thinly and added to salads.

Today's recipe focuses on a salad with fennel.


1 fennel bulb
1 orange (or 1 can of mandarin orange sections)
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup gorgonzola cheese
3 cups mixed salad greens
1/4 cup chopped fennel fronds

1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs sherry or champagne vinegar
1 tsp mixed dried herbs
salt and pepper


Wash, halve, and slice the fennel bulb. Mix salad greens with fennel fronds and mound 1/4 of the greens on each salad plate. Top with fennel, orange slices, cheese, and pecans. Mix olive oil with vinegar and herbs. Pour salad dressing on each salad, then add a grind of salt and pepper to each salad.

Stealthy Cooking Tip: Try something new! Today, this week, this month. Just make a commitment to trying a new food every so often. After all, you won't know if you like it if you don't try it! That's what I always used to say to my kids, and what I now get to say to my grandkids. Sometimes we find foods we really like, and sometimes we find ones we'll never buy again. Ultimately, we broaden our tastes and increase the variety of foods we eat. This not only creates and builds interest in different foods, it increases the variety of nutrients our foods supply.

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