If you are firing up the grill this summer with fish or seafood, consider this fennel slaw as a fresh alternative to regular cabbage coleslaw to serve as a side. Even my father, who runs from fennel as if it were carrying plague, thoroughly enjoys this salad. Oddly, the naturally pronounced licorice taste of fennel is strongly muted by the vinaigrette, so only a hint comes through, and it is well balanced with the mint, shallots, and mustard.
The sugar helps bring out the natural sweetness of the fennel, don't leave out!
- 1 large fennel bulb (or 2 medium bulbs)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
- 2 teaspoons minced shallot or onion
1 Make the vinaigrette. Put the lemon juice, shallot, mustard, salt, sugar and mint in a blender and pulse briefly to combine. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil until it is well combined.
2 Using a mandoline, shave the fennel into 1/8 inch slices starting from the bottom of the bulb. Don't worry about coring the fennel bulb, it's unnecessary. If you don’t have a mandoline, slice the bulb as thin as you can. Chop some of the fennel fronds as well to toss in with the salad.
3 Toss with the fennel and marinate for at least an hour. Serve this salad either cold or at room temperature.