Pear & Fennel Salad

Pear & Fennel Salad // loveandlemons.com

Happy new year!

Do you all make resolutions? In the past I haven’t, but this year I’m going to give it a go. (And I’m thinking if I write them here, maybe I’ll feel some sense of accountability).

1. Learn Italian. So far, I can read most restaurant menus, I can order gelato… I can ask for directions… but I’d love to be able to have an actual conversation.

2. Send back wedding rsvp cards, and mail out baby gifts on time. I’m the worst… I’m the friend that shows up to your baby shower with a printout from Amazon.com of what I purchased off your registry that morning. But I mean well, really I do.

3. Get some furniture and hang things on my walls. We moved into this new house just about two years ago. If you’ve seen our kitchen, it might appear as if we live in a state of togetherness, but I assure you that every other room has a ways to go. Furniture is hard.

I haven’t made any specific food resolutions… but if eating healthier in the new year is one of yours, this salad is a good tasty place to start. It’s light, yet satisfying, and packs a nice kick. Sweet pears and paper-thin fennel are tossed in a tangy dijon vinaigrette. Salty feta ads a richness (and just a little bit goes a long way).

pear & fennel salad
 
Ingredients
  • 2 ripe pears, sliced about ⅛ inch thick
  • 1 small fennel bulb, sliced paper thin (I use a mandoline)
  • squeeze of lemon
  • a handful of arugula or other baby salad greens
  • ¼ cup, or so, toasted walnuts
  • ¼ cup, or so, crumbled feta
  • a few mint leaves
dressing:
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (to taste)
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon dijon mustard (to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon honey (optional)
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • salt & pepper
Instructions
  1. Thinly slice fennel into a small bowl (using a mandoline, ideally). Drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil, a small squeeze of lemon, and sprinkle some salt. Toss and set aside. (I find that marinating the fennel like this for a few minutes helps it become more tender).
  2. Whisk together the dressing components, taste and adjust to your liking. Set aside.
  3. In a larger bowl, toss together the pears, arugula, fennel, most of the feta, and most of the walnuts. Taste and adjust seasonings again. Assemble on a platter and top with the remaining feta, walnuts, and mint leaves.

 


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18 comments

  1. I love this winter salad! I think so many people are unsure of what to do with fennel.

    • Rachal on said:

      Me too! I started using fennel only 2 years ago, and have found it to be tasty in so many dishes and prepared different ways. I think my favorite way to eat it so far is just raw and thinly sliced like this in a salad or on a crudité platter, but I did not feel like having to wash my mandolin, so I made thicker slices than instructed in the recipe -1/8 inch approximately – and it’s also good that way, because fresh fennel when it’s not sliced paper thin has a fantastic and hearty crunch that breaks up the sameness texture-wise of baby salad greens. If making for guests, and not just a quick weeknight dinner, I’ll pull out the mandolin and slice paper thin because it will make for not only a finer presentation, but easier to eat for guests. I skipped the goat cheese because there was plenty in our main dish, and I did not miss it at all eating it by itself before even touching the main dish. I also used 1 whole Asian pear, cored, quartered, and sliced very thinly instead of regular pears from the grocery store. It was sweet, moist, and held up to tossing better than a ripened green pear, they are more consistently sweet and juicy than regular varieties of supermarket pears, and they looked exceptionally pretty.

  2. Isabelle Krake from headredandblondi.blogspot.com on said:

    Wow, this sounds good! I will probably be making this in the near future 😉 . I love that there’s red pepper flakes in the dressing and dijon mustard. Mmm, mmm, mmm! 🙂

  3. Kasey from turntablekitchen.com on said:

    These sound like great resolutions! I actually have stopped making them because I find that when I really want to accomplish something, I’ll do it no matter what…and if I don’t, well…chances are it wasn’t ever going to happen (whether I wrote it down or not). This salad looks tremendous! Happy New Year to you, and thank you again for the beautiful recipe cards. I can’t wait to put them to use!

  4. Kathryn from londonbakes.com on said:

    Happy new year! I like your resolutions a lot (especially number two which I could probably do with making myself…). This salad sounds like a perfect way to bring in the new year too, bright and fresh and full of flavour!

  5. Salad looks delicious!

    For learning Italian, check out Earworms Learning Rapid Italian (I know that’s an awful name 🙂 You learn words and phrases set to music, remarkably easier to remember than traditional language courses.

    Happy New Year!

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      thanks, I’ll check it out!

  6. Kristen from dineanddish.net on said:

    I think your resolutions sound great! Happy new year!

  7. Liz from atablespoonofliz.com on said:

    This salad looks so beautiful, i think I’d be afraid to eat it!

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      I love raw fennel, the key is slicing it paper thin so it’s not such a tough bite…

  8. Happy new year, Jeanine! I am so guilty of your resolution #2. We do mean well, though, don’t we?

  9. jaybird on said:

    I’m eating this salad right now and it is absolutely delicious. Thank you for this recipe (and your beautiful photography)!

  10. Kate Harris from katequitsugar.com on said:

    This salad looks divine. I plan on making some for my lunch this week. Thank you!!!!

  11. Courtney Jones from thefigtree.blogspot.com on said:

    Great resolutions! I too want to finish decorating and organizing home. And I’m also excited to learn a new language. Although, in my case, I’m re-learning one (Japanese). And another resolution I have is to try cooking with different ingredients. Oddly enough, I’ve not cooked with fennel at home. So, I will definitely be making this fantastic look salad ASAP. 🙂

  12. This salad was even more delicious than I imagined! I have been trying to figure out something to use fennel it and this was the perfect dish. I featured this recipe in my most recent meal plan on my blog, thank you!

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      so glad you liked it! It turned out to be one of my new favorites too!

  13. Luz on said:

    Doing it today…I have all the ingredients 😉

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