Fennel Salad with Goat Cheese and Pine Nuts
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© Paden Reich
This is my favorite salad because I love fennel. For whatever reason, I don’t like black licorice, but I love fennel . . . yeah, I can’t figure it out either! Anyway, I remember the first time I ever ate fennel: My Sicilian friends were over cooking dinner and they threw the fennel on the grill. I asked, “What are you doing? What is that?” My friends said they ate it all the time in Italy. I tried it, and that was it. Done. Fennel is now one of my favorite ingredients. You can roast it, grill it, slice it thinly, use it as crudité . . . it’s versatile and has so much flavor. I love how the creamy goat cheese and crunch from the pine nuts offset the bitterness in this salad. It’s the perfect combination of flavors.
1. Whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
2. Combine the arugula and the fennel bulb slices in a medium bowl. Drizzle with the vinaigrette, and toss to coat.
3. Top with the chopped fennel fronds, crumbled goat cheese, and toasted pine nuts.
Don’t like goat cheese? You can use feta instead, and any other toasted nut of your choice.
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups loosely packed baby arugula leaves (about 2 1/2 ounces)
1 fennel bulb, fronds chopped, bulb thinly sliced using a mandoline
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
The vinaigrette can be made up to a week ahead and stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
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