Carrot Fennel Salad

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This was originally a carrot salad recipe that my relatives would prepare and serve every time I came to visit. I thought about throwing in my own version by adding fennel to the salad. I’ve eaten fennel salads made in many variations before. But I concur that carrots and fennel make a great combination. Fennel is at its freshest around Autumn. You can find fennel at at your local supermarket or produce store. Fennel is crunchy and slightly sweet, adding a refreshing contribution to most popular Mediterranean cuisine. Fennel is composed of a white or pale green bulb from which closely superimposed stalks are arranged. The stalks are topped with feathery green leaves near which flowers grow and produce fennel seeds. The bulb, stalk, leaves and seeds are all edible. Fennel belongs to the Umbellifereae family and is therefore closely related to parsley, carrots, dill and coriander. Fennel is a versatile vegetable that plays an important role in the food culture of many European nations, especially in France and Italy. Its esteemed reputation dates back to the earliest times and is reflected in its mythological traditions. Greek myths state that fennel was not only closely associated with Dionysus, the Greek god of food and wine, but that a fennel stalk carried the coal that passed down knowledge from the gods to men. Akin to its its fellow spices, fennel contains its own unique combination of phytonutrients—including the flavonoids rutin,quercitin, and various kaempferol glycosides—that give it strong antioxidant activity. The most fascinating phytonutrient compound in fennel, however, may be anethole. The anethole in fennel has repeatedly been shown to reduce inflammation and to help prevent the occurrence of cancer. In addition to its unusual phytonutrients, fennel bulb is an excellent source of vitamin C. Fennel’s aromatic taste is unique, strikingly reminiscent of licorice and anise, so much so that fennel is often mistakenly referred to as anise in the marketplace. Fennel’s texture is similar to that of celery, having a crunchy and striated texture. Unlike most salad recipes I’ve posted, this one entails blanching the carrots. Blanching is a method similar to steaming vegetables but doesn’t normally require more than 3/4 cup of water. It generally takes 2 to 5 minutes to blanch vegetables. After they’ve been steamed, they need to sit in a bucket of icy cold water  and cool  for a period of time equal to the amount of time they’ve  been blanched for. Then you drain the vegetables in a colander and pat dry.This dish makes a great BBQ salad. This salad can be served at luncheons, brunches, social events, or at any meal. For this recipe, you will need:

  1. 2 large fennel bulbs trimmed and finely sliced
  2. 4-5 large carrots peeled and sliced
  3. 2 gloves of garlic minced
  4. 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley chopped
  5. 1 tablespoon of fresh dill
  6. 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  7. 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  8. Salt and pepper for taste

Instructions 

Fill your sauce pan with about 3/4 cups of water. Cover and bring to a full rolling boil on high heat. Lower the heat and add carrots. Blanch for 5 minutes or until carrots are tender. DO NOT OVERCOOK! Place carrots in a bowl of ice water. Let it cool for the exact same amount of time that its been cooked. Drain and pat dry. In a bowl, add fennel slices, carrots,garlic,parsley, and dill. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss until all ingredients are combined. Serve.

 

Yields 6 servings

 

 

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