Fennel Salad with Pistachios, Dried Cranberries & Citrus Segments

petit takettFennel is a truly under appreciated vegetable.  Itʼs beautiful when you cut it open and see all the layers that look like a flower.  The taste is very aromatic and raw, and it has fantastic crunch when you bite into it.  There’s a 2 part secret to keeping the flavor mild while retaining the crunch.  First, slice the fennel into very thin strips, cut with a bit of the heart attached so that it holds together.  Second, when you add the olive oil, mash it in with your hands.  You want to really get the olive oil in there, crushing the fennel just not too much!   You want the fennel to look slightly more translucent & feel supple.  This salad has everything you could want; itʼs fragrant, spicy, sweet, sour, crunchy & savory all at the same time.  This recipe comes from a cookbook called “The Book of New Israeli Food.”  I added a little more lemon juice and the dried cranberries.  I received this book as a wedding gift and it has become one of my go to cook books!  Thank you again, Shapira Family!

– 3 large bulbs of fennel, cut in 1/2 sliced with most of the heart removed
– 1 large lemon, sliced in segments with the casings removed
– 1/4 cup light olive oil
– 2 tbs lemon juice
– 1.5 serrano chiles cut in 1/2 and deseeded, then sliced very thin
– 1.5 tbs honey
– 1/2 cup roasted pistachios

Place the sliced fennel in a bowl with the olive oil & and crush with your hands until the fennel is supple and slightly translucent.  Add the honey and salt to taste, tossing lightly.  Add the rest of the ingredients, toss again & serve.