We already talked about how I hate it when someone orders a salad at a restaurant. But you know what I don’t hate? Serving delicious salads (like this apple fennel salad) at home. Though it might seem a bit tired and cliche to some, I still love to start a dinner party with a light salad. Not only does it offer an opportunity to highlight seasonal produce, it also ensures that my guests don’t feel too guilty reaching for an extra-thick piece of my chocolate whiskey tart!
Lately, I’ve been challenging myself to find interesting salad ideas. And, by interesting, I mean something that goes beyond the oh-so-tired arugula-parmesan-cherry tomato number that we are all so familiar with. This week I was looking for something to highlight the mountains of sweet, crisp, apples around and I think this apple fennel salad does the trick. I often throw a handful of chopped apples and fennel in the pan when I roast root vegetables, but it wasn’t until I stumbled upon a similar apple-fennel salad in cooks illustrated that I thought to try them together fresh.
The trick to this apple fennel salad (and most salads in my opinion) is to chop the ingredients small enough that you get a little bit of everything in each bite. Also, be sure to slice the fennel and red onion as thin as you possibly can!
- 1 head romaine lettuce (chopped into bite-sized pieces)
- 1 small cucumber (very thinly sliced)
- 1 small fennel bulb (diced)
- 2 honey crisp apples (diced)
- 1/2 red onion (thinly sliced)
- 1/2 cup toasted pecans (roughly chopped)
- 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons apple cider or red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large bowl, combine lettuce, cucumber, 1/2 of the fennel, 1/2 of the apples, and 1/2 of the red onion.
- In a small jar with a lid combine olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, and a pinch of salt. Shake vigorously until well combined.
- Pour vinegar and oil mixture over lettuce and toss until evenly distributed.
- Top with the remaining apples, fennel, and onion.
- Sprinkle with goat cheese and toasted pecans.