Friday, November 11, 2016

Pear and Fennel Salad

by Missy Tippens

I actually cooked this week, y'all! :) I know, I know. You're all in shock. hahaha

I was pleased to see a good deal on fennel at the grocery store. I grabbed a bulb and decided to find a recipe that I had made years ago.

I'm pretty sure the one I made back then was the Orange and Fennel Salad from Robin Miller (Food Network). I didn't have any oranges, but still, this is close to what I made.

1 large fennel bulb sliced very thin
2 oranges peeled and sectioned (removing the white fibrous parts)
1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1 TBS red wine vinegar
2 TBS dried cranberries
salt and pepper to taste

First, cut off the green parts of the fennel, leaving only the bulb. You may want to save all this for soup stock. And you may want to chop and save some of the fronds to sprinkle on top for color and some flavor. I didn't think of doing so in time and had already tossed it in the trashcan. But it would have looked pretty.

Cut the bulb in half. You'll see it has a core.

Cut a triangle out to remove the core--kind of like cabbage!

Thinly slice. You may want to use a mandolin if you have it (be sure to use the hand protector!). I didn't want to try to find my mandolin (post-move) so just sliced as thinly as I could.

Thinly slice the pear as well. Mine was getting old and the skin was tough, so I peeled it. But I recommend leaving the skin on to add color and texture.

Mix the fennel and pear and set aside. Now make the dressing.

Put the vinegar in a bowl. Whisk in the olive oil to emulsify it. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the cranberries and orange slices (wish I'd thought to use canned mandarins!) to the fennel and pear and toss the salad with the dressing.

Do a taste test and then add a bit of salt and pepper if needed. Enjoy this light, crunchy salad!


  1. I would never have thought to put those two things together, but it sounds great. I just bought some pears. Maybe I need to go back to the store and get fennel. smile

    1. Go for it, Sandra! I think you'll enjoy it.

  2. Doesn't fennel taste like licorice? Or is that the fennel seed that tastes like licorice. I have to confess to never having used fennel.

    Are you going to kick me out of the cafe?

    That would make me sad.

    Now I must pay attention to fennel, Missy!!!

    1. Ruthy, it supposedly does taste like licorice, but barely if at all. I'm not a fan of licorice, and I love fennel. I think I just like the crunch.

      NO! We don't kick anyone out of the cafe. And if we kicked anyone out, it would have to be me since it seems I barely cook anything other than spaghetti and the same ol' same ol' chicken and pasta dishes. :)

  3. I've never had fresh fennel either. And I'll admit to think it was a herb 'cause I've used dried fennel in soups and stews. But this sounds really interesting. And the orange and cranberry version would be fun for Christmas.

    1. Kav, I think the dried fennel is made from the seeds. The bulb reminds me a little of celery in texture. Just a different flavor. :)

      The colors would be good for Christmas! I bet it would also be good with pomegranate seeds right now too.

  4. Interesting! I've never seen fennel in the stores here. I wonder what fresh fennel tastes like??