Fennel Salad With Pickled Jalapenos
- Servings: 4.
Fennel are firm pale green bulbs that have a slightly sweet, anise flavor. When sliced paper thin using a mandoline or ceramic slicer or food processor, they become a perfect centerpiece for this refreshing and crispy slaw-type salad.
Pickled jalapeño peppers are easy to find in most food markets, usually sold in the same section as pickles and relishes or else with the Latin or Tex-Mex ingredients. Even if you only use a few in this recipe, an opened jar of pickled peppers will keep seemingly forever in the refrigerator.
Don't dress the sliced fennel too far in advance of serving because the salted vinaigrette will soften the fennel too much, taking away some of its fresh, crispy appeal, and making the dressing watery. The small bits of sliced pickled jalapeño gives the subtle fennel flavor a bit of a kick, making it a splendid topping for sliced pork sandwiches or alongside a piece of pan grilled salmon.
- 2 medium fennel bulbs
- 1 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced or chopped pickled jalapeño peppers
- Trim the fennel bulbs by cutting off the stems and any stems with fonds. If the outer layer seems tough and coarse, remove it. Slice off the bottom of each bulb.
- Using a mandoline, ceramic slicer, or slicing disc with a food processor, cut the fennel bulbs into paper thin (about 1/16") slices -- two fennel bulbs will make about 4 or 5 cups of slices, depending on how thin they are. Transfer the thin slices to a serving bowl.
- In a small bowl combine the vinegar, mustard, salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Whisk with a fork until the salt dissolves and the mustard combines. Add the olive oil and continue to whisk until the dressing emulsifies.
- Pour the dressing over the sliced fennel and add the chopped pickled jalapeños. Toss to combine.
Serve either immediately or soon. Otherwise hold off adding the vinaigrette until just before serving so that the fennel slices don't wilt too much.
This salad also makes a terrific topping for sandwiches or burgers.