What’s in the kitchen? Pear & Fennel Salad

I figured that since I like to cook and that I remodel kitchens quite frequently, I should share some of the recipes I find enjoyable. So that’s what I’m doing. The recipes will not be exclusively mine, but rather my version of someone elses creativity. So here we go….stay tuned for more….( to steal a line from a Food Network Star)…good eats.

Pear & Fennel Salad: Recipe courtesy Food Network Magazine

This is a recipe I’ve made twice now, I have to admit that I wasn’t sure how it would taste based on the ingredients. Initially, I had no idea what a fennel was. Wikipedia says fennel is:

“Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is a plant species in the genus Foeniculum (treated as the sole species in the genus by most botanists). It is a member of the family Apiaceae (formerly the Umbelliferae). It is a hardy, perennial, umbelliferous herb, with yellow flowers and feathery leaves. It is indigenous to the shores of the Mediterranean, but has become widely naturalized in many parts of the world, especially on dry soils near the sea-coast and on riverbanks.

It is a highly aromatic and flavorful herb with culinary and medicinal uses, and, along with the similar-tasting anise, is one of the primary ingredients of absinthe. Florence fennel or finocchio is a selection with a swollen, bulb-like stem base that is used as a vegetable.”

And it looks like this:

The recipe goes as follows: Whisk 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar with ½ teaspoon anise seed, salt, and pepper in a serving bowl, then whisk slowly in 1/3 cup olive oil. Add one thinly sliced fennel bulb, two thinly sliced pears, and some parsley. Season with salt and pepper and toss. Top with shaved pecorino.

This is a great summer recipe and goes well with other citrus-themed meals (i.e. fish). I use extra virgin olive oil instead of regular olive oil. I also found that using pears that are on the green side is actually better. (I found that out by accident- there were no ripe pears available when I made this the first time.) The firmness of the pears adds crispness and the pears hold up better for tossing and eating. I let the salad rest at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving. Do not let the salad rest too long though or the fennel will start to wilt.

Enjoy

Good Luck

Jason Myrlie- J Carsten Homes & Remodeling

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