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Recipe #5: A Refreshing Summer Salad of Tomato & Fennel

Posted Jul 30 2007 12:00am

I just realized that I forgot to post the recipe for the tomato fennel salad that I made the other night. So I've listed it below. The recipe is my own spin on Ina Garten's tomato fennel salad.

Not too long ago my mother adamantly proclaimed that she didn't like fennel, but this fennel & tomato salad recipe changed her mind. The secret is the dressing, which takes some of the sharpness out of the fennel.

Tomato Fennel Salad

(Source: Original recipe source is Ina Garten's show, The Barefoot Contessa, from the episode, "Back from the Beach.")

1 1/2 pounds heirloom tomatoes
1 small fennel bulb
2 tablespoons good olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
10-12 fresh basil leaves
5 springs fresh oregano
5 springs fresh thyme

Instructions: Core the tomatoes and cut into wedges. Remove the top of the fennel (save some fronds for garnish) and slice the bulb very thinly crosswise with a knife or on a mandoline.

Toss the tomatoes and fennel in a bowl with the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Garnish with 2 tablespoons chopped fennel fronds, season to taste, and serve.

Note: I like to add a tad bit more lemon juice & pepper than is called for by the original recipe. As any decent cook knows, it takes some creative adjustments to truly make a recipe your own. Season to taste & enjoy!

As for the other recipe I made two nights ago but neglected to list -- Asian Spinach -- it's very easy to make & hardly is a recipe at all. It's basically just fresh steamed spinach seasoned with sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, & toasted sesames. Et le voilà. Easy as pie. Er, I guess that'd be spinach pie. ;-)

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