Fennel salad with parmesan croutons
A good lunch salad is an art and takes a little imagination but it doesn’t have to be complicated. I was leafing through a Donna Hay cookbook last night when saw a fennel and chicken salad and decided to translate it to a vegetarian version and change the dressing. I liked the croutons idea so went with that.
The fennel has to be sliced thinly, like they do in Italy, and then marinated for a while in olive oil, lemons juice and salt to slightly soften. Add beautiful baby greens and shave parmesan over into large flakes and let them rain over the salad as you serve it.
1 fennel, cleaned and halved lengthwise
A drizzle of good olive oil
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
A large pinch of salt
A chunk of parmesan
Thinly sliced baguette, as many slices as you need, at least 5 per person because they are very thin.
Salt and pepper
A few sprigs thyme, leaved stripped off
Blue cheese dressing:
1/3 cup blue cheese dressing
1/3 cup mayonnaise
A squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Slice the fennel halves thinly lengthwise and place in a bow.
Drizzle with just enough olive oil to coat and mix.
Add salt and lemon juice and mix.
Let marinate in the bowl until you are ready to serve.
To make the croutons:
Line a baking sheet with parchment and brush with olive oil.
Arrange the thin bread slices over the oil and press them so they soak some of it.
Brush the tops with oil using a pastry brush.
Sprinkle the bread slices with salt and shaved cheese and sprinkle with thyme leaves (fresh only).
Broil under a hot broiler for a couple o fminutes until golden, being careful not to burn them. they go for golden to burnt in a split second so watch it.
Add the greens to the fennel and mix.
Pile individual portions on plates.
Spoon the dressing into small glass dishes and place next to the salad in the bowl with a small serving spoon.
Arrange the croutons next to the dressing jar.
Shave parmesan over the fennel and serve.