Oh, hey there! You might remember me as the girl who used to write a blog over here. I’ve been a little delinquent. I know. I intend to make it up to you with some fantastic recipes, starting with this fennel, apple, & herb salad with chili & peanuts. So if you’ll have me back, I’m going to get bossy and tell you to get up into your kitchen right now and start toasting some peanuts! This salad is a snap to make and will make you feel like spring is really in the air, despite the cold wind and snow that was falling today. If you’re living a warm part of the world, then you will simply find this salad a refreshing and bright addition to your day.
For those of you still waiting for spring to really reveal herself, well I think she’s coming soon. I hear it’s supposed to be 11°C tomorrow! And as the days continue to warm, you will be glad you made the shift from heavy soups and stews, and the same old “mixed greens” salads, to something with a little crunch and spice. This fennel, apple, and herb salad with chili and peanuts is perfect transition food.
- 1 fennel bulb, sliced very thinly (see instructions below)
- 1 sweet-tart apple, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced
- Half of a red onion, thinly sliced into half moons
- A generous handful, each, of mint and cilantro, roughly chopped (about 1/4 cup each of chopped herbs), plus more for garnish if you like
- ¼ cup raw peanuts, roughly chopped
- Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tbsp)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3/4 tsp honey
- Half of an Anaheim chile pepper, seeded and diced (more if you like more heat)
- ¼ tsp salt
- Pepper to taste
- Heat the oven to 350°F. Spread peanuts on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 10 to 20 minutes, stirring occassionally during the roasting time. When they are lightly browned and smell fragrant remove them from the oven and let cool.
- Meanwhile, place all of the dressing ingredients in a jar (the last 6 ingredients, lemon to pepper). Whisk until well combined. Alternatively, process everything in a blender until combined. Season with salt and pepper and adjust the levels of oil to citrus to your liking. Set aside.
- Place the fennel bulb horizontally on a cutting board and cut off the stalks. Then stand the bulb upright and cut it in half vertically. Cut out the core. Set the fennel halves cut side down and cut each half perpendicular to the fibers into very thin slices. A mandoline or food processor with a slicing blade works well for this, but you could also use a sharp knife. Place in a bowl with the thinly sliced apple and onion. Roughly chop the herbs and toss them in the bowl as well.
- Pour about 3/4 of the dressing over the mixture (more or less to your liking) toss gently with your hands. (Get ’em in there!) To serve, top with toasted peanuts and more fresh herbs.