Friday, January 21, 2011

Fennel and Apple Salad with Apple Cider-Citrus Dressing

I went to our local farmer's market in Menlo Park this weekend after a few week hiatus due to travel and other plans. Despite being the dead of winter and MLK weekend, there were still plenty of vendors at the market and I picked up some beautiful fresh fennel and a bunch of apples, among other things.  I was looking for a light lunch the other day and thought of combining thinly sliced fennel and apples along with walnuts and feta as a sort of different take on a waldorf salad. The result was delicious - light but satisfying due to the walnuts and cheese. As an added plus, the lemon juice in the dressing keeps the apples from turning brown, which allowed me to eat it for lunch the next day as well, accompanied both days by some hearty bread. I used Pippin apples here, which are a wonderful not too sweet not too tart green apple, but other varieties, such as Gala, Fuji, Pink Lady, Braeburn, or whatever kind of apple you like best would work. This is easy to make and would also be great for a dinner party first or side course!

Fennel and Apple Salad with Apple Cider-Citrus Dressing
Serves 2 as a main, 4 as a side

Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

2 fennel bulbs, thinly sliced
2 apples, thinly sliced (I just cut large chunks off around the core and then sliced from there)
2 oz. feta, crumbled
1 c. walnuts

2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1 T. fresh-squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
1 t. dijon mustard
1/2 t. kosher salt
1/4 t. pepper

Slice the apples and fennel and place in a medium-sized bowl. Crumble the feta into the bowl.

In a small saucepan, toast the walnuts over medium-low heat until fragrant, shaking the pan occassionally and being careful not to burn them. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together.

When the walnuts are done toasting, roughly chop them, and add to the bowl. Toss with the dressing and serve.

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