First recipe of the year! And it’s a salad. Bahahahah.
But listen, the crunch in this thing is enough to convert anyone. It is alive, I tell you. A lot happening in here. And don’t get weird at the word fennel. We thinly slice it, so it’s not like you’re madly chomping into licorice. Cool, crunchy and vibrant. That’s the name of the game today.
AND this is super throw together. I’m thinking of starting a new series on this website of throw-together meals. Ultra simple, tons of flavor, minimal effort. Do you dig?
Let us peepeth.
Lots of green. Which is key for January survival, right? I need to post more HERBY salads. I’m always so satisfied when I make them on my own for dinner, but I feel like they’re too simple for the blog. I’m changing that. You’re getting some dang herby salads this winter.
So yeah, fennel bulb! Just one. That’s all you need. A good handful of green beans (or haricot verts from Trader Joe’s if you’re nearby! Look at you all fancy.) Some parmesan for shaving, a bit of garlic, lemon and olive oil. That’s it.
Okay what I SHOULD have done (my brain is still recovering from the holidays) is use a mandolin on this fennel. That would have been sublime – those thin shavings! But I thinly sliced it with a knife, which isn’t quite the same. So my advice, use a mandolin! You want paper thin shavings.
Which this is clearly not. But I’m still a good person.
In a pan we’ll just heat a drizzle of oil and add our beans. Maybe thirty seconds in you’ll sprinkle a little salt over them, along with a splash of water. It’ll bubble up, make some noice, you’ll jump, it’s all good.
Once the beans are crisp tender and bright green (like 2-3 minutes, if that), tong (not thong) them into a big bowl to cool for a second, while you make your lemony garlic dressing. Which is simply extra virgin olive oil, minced garlic, lemon zest, juice, salt and pepper. You’ll see it in the reel!
Then we just add everything to that green bean bowl. The dressing, the fennel, the washed parsley leaves (discard the stems!), a few reserved frilly fronds and a slice of your soul.
You’ll use salad forks (I feel like that’s the wrong word. Salad tongs? Salad spoons? Salad tossies?) and just toss it all together until the dressing coats all the things. Every last nook and cranny. Get her tossed.
Top with parmesan shavings and LOOK at that pretty thing. It’s a stunner! I know this will excite health enthusiasts, but truly everyone should be pretty jazzed about now.
Get out your black pepper grinder and give the top a little dusting, for extra attractiveness and flavor.
Also did you know parsley is super medicinal? I can’t remember exactly what it does, but we put quite a bit in there. You saw that right? That was a lot of parsley. Look at us. Just look at us.
The fennel has divine flavor mixed in with the crisp tender green beans. The dressing wakes it all up, and the parmesan adds that unbeatable nuttiness that every salad just needs.
Try this! It took about twenty minutes to pull together, and makes a fantastic side salad to a roast chicken. Or even steak! Cool and crunchy, filled with flavor, and gorgeous to look at. I dare you to add this to next week’s menu.
Get on in that!
Extra parmesan wouldn’t hurt either.