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Posted Jan 17 2011 12:00am

Just popping in for a quick moment to share a recipe for a simple salad.  If you are one of those who shun fennel on account of its licorice-like flavor, then please try this dish; I've seen opponents convert right in front of my eyes!

Shaved Fennel + Cauliflower Salad with Bacon + Parmesan
4 slices bacon, 1/4” inch thick1 large shallot1 medium head cauliflower, trimmed and quartered2 medium bulbs fennel, trimmed and quartered 1 tsp dijon mustard1 1/2 tsp sherry vinegar1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oilhandful of fresh parsley leaves4 ounces Parmigiano-Reggianosea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Slice bacon bacon into lardoons, about 1/2” thick.  Fry bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crispy; drain bacon on a paper towel, but reserve fat.
Thinly slice shallot; toss with 1/2 tsp sherry vinegar and set aside.
In large mixing bowl, whisk together dijon, 1 tsp sherry vinegar, a pinch of salt, a few grinds of black pepper and 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil.  Add 1 tablespoon reserved bacon fat; whisk to emulsify.
On a mandoline, thinly slice cauliflower and fennel.  Roughly chop parsley.  To the bowl with the vinaigrette, add the bacon, shallot, cauliflower, fennel, parsley and a pinch of salt; gently toss to combine.    Shave cheese (I use a vegetable peeler) over the top and gently toss one final time.  Serve immediately.

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