Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a great New Year’s celebration and look forward to 2015. I know Mary Jo and I had a great evening with friends and had plenty of bubbly Wednesday night. It’s time to set new goals and resolutions. One for me would be to eat less cheese dip and crackers, and more Fennel, Celery and Apple Salad.
So for the first post of 2015, I found this great recipe for a tasty salad. I know I need more salads. It is crunchy and stylish and would be a compliment to any meal you plan. It features the snap of celery and fennel, along with the sweetness of apple. The dressing is simple but is accentuated with toasted walnuts and fresh basil. The combination is great. Give this a try the next time you have some friends over for supper.
If you are unfamiliar with fennel, it is easy to cut up. Trim off the stalks and fronds. Trim a thin slice from the base. Remove the outer layer of the bulb, which is bitter and tough. Half the bulb lengthwise and thinly slice with a sharp knife or with a mandoline. I used my 7 inch Wustof classic santoku knife which is my go-to knife for chopping. Separate the slivered fennel for easy eating.
The honeycrisp apple in this salad is super tasting and complements the crunch of the fennel and celery beautifully. And speaking of apples…I’ve come across a splendid article on the healthy benefits of apples which you should read. It is by Helen Nichols of Well-Being Secrets.com, called, “34 Science-Backed Health Benefits of Apples.” Helen has written a great piece covering the history, growing, and varieties of apples and indexes 34 health benefits that apples provide. She also suggests ways to get more apples into your daily diet. If you’re into apples, and even if you’re not, I highly recommend you take a look at Helen’s well written piece.
- ½ cup walnuts
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon (2 tbsp)
- salt and pepper
- 2 celery ribs, diagonally sliced to ¼ inch
- 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 1 honeycrisp or other variety apple, cored and sliced thin
- ¼ cup basil leaves, coarsely chopped or torn
- Pecorino romano cheese shavings
- Heat oven to 375 degrees, toast walnuts on an oven sheet, 8 minutes, then coarse chop.
- Using a large bowl, whisk the olive oil and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper.
- Add the fennel, celery, apple and basil.
- Toss to coat.
- Serve in shallow bowls, sprinkle with walnuts.
- Garnish with shaved cheese.