Having people over for lunch? his French country salad, introduced to me by my sister, Lili Pierrepont, will really impress!
Personally, I prefer to keep the entire bowl for myself as lunch but, if you are serving it to others, it can feed 3 or 4 (if you’re being delicate). Perfect for either before or after the main dish, this salad has distinct flavors that will have you dreaming about the next time you get to eat it. The crunch is perfect right after you make it but if you make it in advance and let it sit an hour or even overnight the crunch remains but a little of the snap is gone. That said, it does hold overnight — it just marinates a bit more.
Important note: If you love parmesan as I do, don’t make the mistake I made. In a fit of gourmandise, I added a little extra cheese at the last minute. To my dismay, the strong flavor of the aged cheese overpowered the delicateness of the fennel and celery. I ended up pushing a few of the big shavings to the side to preserve the balance.
You can buy fennel at Trader Joe’s.
YIELD Serves 3 or 4 as a small starter salad or after dinner salad. Serves 1 for lunch, if you’re me.
ACTIVE TIME 10 min
TOTAL TIME 10 min
- 1 bulb of fennel
- 4 stalks of celery (gently shave the celery to remove the tough outer strings)
- 3 tbsp of EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
- 1/2 a lemon
- A few pinches of salt and pepper
- A small handful of shaved parmesan
- Rinse and prepare celery by shaving off the tough outer strings with a potato peeler. Chop the celery into thin, delicate slices (little crescent moons).
- Rinse and prepare the fennel bulb by chopping off the top and bottom. Slice it lengthwise. Sliver each half-bulb into the thinnest slivers you can manage. Save the top of the bulb with the dill leaves for later.
- Add celery and fennel to a serving bowl and toss with salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon.
- Now, cut some of the dill leaves from the fennel top. Cut them into featherings and toss them it into the salad, reserving a sprig or two for the top.
- Toss well.
- Pair with a nice white wine.