This summer we were so fortunate to have our cousin visit us from Australia. His mother and our mother are first cousins, but if you ask our mom, they were actually as close as sisters. Raised in the same house, they grew up sleeping in the same room (actually, the same bed), eating at the same table, and living similar experiences, from schooling to household chores, to family joys and struggles. When our mom left Greece to come to Canada she fully expected that her sister-cousins (there were 2) would soon follow her, as would her own siblings. Unfortunately, Canadian immigration laws at the time prevented her cousins from coming to Canada as they were too young; they instead immigrated to Australia. Although the cousins speak often, they have not seen each other since they were young women.
Hosting our cousin this summer was a lovely time spent re-connecting (this was not his first trip here), catching up, and of course, cooking. One of the things that we made was this delicious salad, inspired by one that his mom makes often. Although perhaps not her exact recipe, as it was re-created on a whim one hungry afternoon and with a bit of creative license, it is perfectly delicious. It gave our cousin a simple taste of home, and us a glimpse into our dear aunt’s kitchen. Not bad for a fennel salad!
Usually, fresh fennel bulbs are sold with the stalk still attached, and fresh fronds at the end of the stalk (they look like fresh dill). For this recipe you will use the fennel bulb and a bit of the fronds. Don’t throw the stalks away though; they make a perfect addition to a vegetable soup, stew or any number of other dishes.
You should let the salad rest for at least one hour before serving, to help the flavours meld together. If you want to make your salad the day before, go ahead and do so. Simply bring it to room temperature before serving as it is tastier this way.
Mia Kouppa: Fennel salad
- 1 fennel bulb, including the green fronds
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) finely chopped flat leaf parsley
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped green fronds
- Juice from 1/2 lemon
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) salt
- 1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) red wine vinegar
- Cut the fennel bulb into rounds then into strips. Chop up the green fronds at the end of the fennel stalks so that you have one tablespoon of chopped up fronds. Place both the fennel bulb and fronds in a bowl
- To this bowl add the green onions, parsley, lemon, vinegar, salt, and olive oil. Mix everything together very well.
- Let your salad sit, at room temperature, for one hour before serving. If you will be making your salad in advance, then allow it to sit in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving. Enjoy!