Today I’m back with a new installment of Be My Guest – the first one for 2014! I am really excited that Kathryne from the blog Cookie and Kate joined me on the blog today. I can’t remember how I found Kathryne’s blog, it might have been through Heidi, but I’ve been following her ever since. Kathryne has clean and bright photos that I really like and all her recipes are vegetarian, so she’s a great source when looking for meatless whole foods. I’ve also loved some of her resource posts, such as how to start a food blog or food photography tips. Plus, for some weird reason I’m fascinated by the fact that she lives in Kansas…I’ve never met anyone from Kansas and I’ve never been there, but maybe Dorothy plays some part in it?
But now, let’s get to the recipe! Shaved Fennel Salad with Parmesan and Orange Zest from Melissa Clark’s cookbook, Cook This Now. I don’t often use fennel and I like how this comes together easily. Kathryn mentioned that not having a mandolin left her with thicker slices of fennel than she was hoping for. I used my very basic mandolin and still didn’t get my fennel as thin and feathery as I think the recipe is intended to be. However, I am truly terrified of my mandolin and might not have been using it to it’s full potential. But even with slightly thicker slices, this recipe is easy and tasty.
I let my fennel sit with the dressing a bit, which reduced the anise flavour a little more. We also had some leftovers, which I then combined with shaved cabbage and carrots, which made a great additional salad. Serving this with orange slices like Kathryn shows in her photos would add some extra bulk and colour to the salad. The recipe in the book also offers alternatives, such as leaving off the cheese or adding thinly sliced dates – you can be creative!
Thank you so much Kathryne for joining me on the blog today!
- 2 large fennel bulbs
- 1/2 teaspoon of finely grated orange zest
- 2 tablespoons of freshly grated orange juice
- 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
- 3 tablespoons of good quality olive oil
- 2 ounces of Parmesan cheese
- Cut each fennel bulb in half lengthwise. Using a mandoline-type tool or very sharp knife, thinly shave the fennel. Transfer to a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the orange zest, orange juice, vinegar, salt and pepper. Whisk in the oil. Pour the dressing over the fennel and toss well.
- Working over the salad bowl, use a vegetable peeler to shave the cheese into thin curls. Toss the salad gently once more and serve.
I added a bit of extra orange zest and compensated the acidity of my very strong red wine vinegar with a teaspoon of sugar. Letting the dressed salad sit longer also decreased the anise flavour of the fennel.