Fennel is one of those marmite foods like goat’s cheese, coriander and – well marmite itself – that truly polarises opinion. But, I for one, love it and that’s mostly down to a couple of really clever Ottolenghi dishes – one that calls for caramelised fennel (totally delicious!) and the other that incorporates it into a savoury crumble.
Both are pretty novel ways to use the anise veg but lately I’ve been stripping it back to basics and simply adding raw, thinly shaved fennel to my salads. I thought I’d share the recipe for one of my favourite combos – slicing the fennel wafer thin really works to temper it’s strong flavour and is perfectly complimented by the nutty couscous and sweet cranberries.
I’m serving this salad tonight alongside salmon that’s been baked in a kalamata olive tapenade.
Feeds four as a side.
200g israeli couscous (I used wholegrain) // 350g fennel // 100g radishes // 75g dried cranberries // 30g flaked, toasted almonds // handful of parsley; finely chopped // 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil // 1 tbsp lemon juice // 1/2 tsp salt
Cook the israeli couscous as per the instructions till al dente and set aside to cool (to speed this up I just rinsed mine in cold water). Meanwhile, slice your fennel and radishes as thinly as possible – I use a mandolin to do this but a sharp knife will also do the trick. Add the fennel, radish and couscous to a bowl along with the cranberries, almonds and parsley. To make the dressing simply whisk the remaining ingredients together, pour over the salad and mix.