Fennel and Greens

I am currently obsessed with this salad.  I keep finishing off a batch of it, then turning right around and making another.  Every time I go to the grocery store I find I simply cannot leave without another fennel bulb in my bag.  The thing is, it’s darn near the perfect summer salad.  Here’s why:

  1. Most of the ingredients are items that I always have on hand.
  2. It is incredibly sturdy—it actually stays crunchy for days in the refrigerator.
  3. It has fennel bulb in it.
  4. It doesn’t have any mayonnaise in it.
  5. My garden is producing abundant greens right now.  I can pick a mixed colander full in seconds.
  6. Oh yes, and it’s delicious.

I rest my case.

The inspiration for this brilliant salad came from Tara at Tea & Cookies.  As I read her recipe, I knew it was going to be a keeper.  I started tinkering with it immediately of course, adapting a bit to suit my own tastes, and throwing in some leftover beans and rice I had in the refrigerator to make it into a full meal.

I like fennel bulb a lot–braised in winter, or sliced raw into salads.   I find that marinating it briefly in lemon juice improves the flavor of raw fennel bulb–it seems to remove that hint of licorice flavor that can make it a bit bitter.

If you, like me, often start the week by making big pots of beans and rice and stashing them in the refrigerator for weeknight dinners, you are halfway to enjoying this salad already.  I have made it with brown rice, wild rice, farro, garbanzo beans, and adzuki beans.  Use what you’ve got.

Fennel and Greens Salad

(adapted from Tea & Cookies)

  • 1 large fennel bulb, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 cups mixed greens (I used lacinato kale, scotch kale, collards, and chard), finely chopped
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice, cooled
  • 1 cup cooked wild rice, cooled
  • 1 cup cooked beans, cooled
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • freshly ground pepper to taste

Toss sliced fennel bulb in a large bowl with lemon juice, olive oil, and salt.  Let sit for 5-10 minutes, while preparing other ingredients.  Add remaining ingredients and stir well to combine.  Season to taste with pepper and additional salt if needed.

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6 thoughts on “Fennel and Greens

  1. Natalie

    I think that fennel bulbs are incredibly beautiful particularly if they have their feathery tops still attached but I just don’t like the taste. I literally run away from anything that even remotely tastes like aniseed which is a shame considering how delicious this salad looks……

    Reply
    1. The Rowdy Chowgirl Post author

      Me too on the anise flavor. Which is why I have to marinate or braise fennel bulb before I like it. But I’m suprised by how effectively those methods neutralize the yucky black licorice taste!

      Reply
  2. tea_austen

    Oh yay—this version looks so good!
    I would have been very happy to eat this for dinner tonight. Don’t you think someone should open a delivery service that specializes in really good salads? I’d be the first customer, especially if they had this on the menu.

    Reply
    1. The Rowdy Chowgirl Post author

      Hmm! Good idea! Based on the pictures you’ve been posting on your blog, I’d say you’d be just the person to open that salad delivery service!

      Reply

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