Fennel is a bulbous vegetable closely related to carrots, dill, parsley and Queen Anne’s lace. It is loaded with Vitamin C and fiber and has a distinct licorice or anise flavor that goes well with fish. Fennel is a staple in Mediterranean cuisine where it’s frequently roasted, braised or served raw (reference). We’re going to use it in an autumn slaw with apple and a pungent ginger vinaigrette.
Rick and I went on a Caribbean cruise a couple years back as part of a class reunion. If you’ve never been on a cruise, the food is as amazing as everyone says. I actually looked forward to the clever salads that were served everyday. One of them was this apple fennel slaw. I’ve made it several times since and it’s always a hit served with pork or salmon. On occasion we’ve even eaten it in a wrap as lunch the next day.
When you purchase fennel, it usually has a few stalks and fronds attached to it. Those are edible too but most people use the bulb and reserve the fronds for decoration or stuffing inside fish. To use, cut the stalks off and remove any outer leaves that are discolored. When you cut the bulb in half or in quarters you’ll see the core. You can cut it away like you do for cabbage or leave it in place if you want the petals to remain intact. For a slaw, I remove the core and slice the rest thinly.
You could certainly add cabbage to this slaw. When I do I put the same amount as the fennel. Don’t forget to increase the amount of vinaigrette you make. It’s all good.
- 2 cups sliced fennel (half a bulb)
- 2 cups granny smith or other tart apple, sliced into matchsticks (2 fist sized apples)
- 1/2 medium onion sliced thin
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon grated ginger (I used the paste in the tube, start with less and add more as desired)
- 1/8 teaspoon celery seed
- salt and pepper to taste
- Whisk the vinegar, olive oil and ginger paste in a small bowl. Adjust the amounts to taste. (I prefer closer to a 2:1 ratio oil to vinegar)
- Put the sliced fennel and apple in a large mixing bowl. Pour the vinaigrette over them and mix well.
- Season with salt, pepper and celery seed.