Shaved fennel, red onion and celery salad with salami

November 2, 2012

Shaved fennel, red onion and celery salad with salami

It’s that time of year again! November. Kickoff to Thanksgiving planning. Kickoff to holiday seasons. For the first time in many years, I find myself not combing through recipes, trying to figure out what I’ll be doing this year, as the rest of my family will be taking the reins. But fear not! I still have last year’s menu to share with you, and I know I won’t be able to resist thinking a bit about new menus and new recipes, which of course, I’ll have to share!

What does all this have to do with salad? Well, last year, this salad was one of the two opening acts for Thanksgiving dinner. A couple of years ago I talked about why I now always make sure my Thanksgiving menu has a couple of appetizers, and this salad keeps the prep work simple while providing an amazing meld of flavors.

Of course this salad is also great for a lunch or a weeknight dinner, which I made just this past week. Celery, red onion, and fennel get shaved thinly on a mandoline, then soaked in ice water to crisp the vegetables and mellow a bit of their bite. Some thinly sliced salami and chopped walnuts add a salty, savory, fatty flavor to the crisp, bitter vegetables, and a lemon vinaigrette brings a bit of brightness to the mix.

As for Thanksgiving? Last year’s menu was a mix between Italian-inspired and local fresh produce. Lemons were picked from my lemon tree, fennel was fresh from the local market, and the salami made here in San Francisco. This salad along with my tomato jam paired with goat cheese and crackers were a hit at the table. Even people who didn’t care for celery or fennel loved this, and asking for seconds and the recipe!

Shaved fennel, red onion and celery salad with salami
Recipe from La Cucina Italiana

Serves 6

1 small red onion, peeled
1 small fennel bulb, trimmed
1 celery stalk, cut into 2- to 3-inch lengths, then very thinly sliced lengthwise
8 loosely packed cups (about 3 1/2 ounces) mâche or other small tender greens
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Fine sea salt
3 ounces very thinly sliced dry salami
1/4 cup walnut pieces, roughly chopped

Preferably using an adjustable-blade slicer, thinly slice onion into rings, then thinly slice fennel. In a large bowl, combine onion, fennel and celery; fill bowl with ice water, stir once or twice, then let stand 30 minutes (vegetables soaked in ice water will crisp, and the bite of the onion will mellow).
Drain soaked vegetables, then pat dry. Transfer to a large dry bowl. Add mâche, lemon juice, oil and generous 1/4 teaspoon salt. Gently toss to combine, then adjust seasoning to taste. Arrange salad on 4 serving plates. Top with salami and sprinkle with nuts.

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4 Responses to “Shaved fennel, red onion and celery salad with salami”

  1. Delighted to meet, and spend a minute with you and your husband @ BYR. Enjoyed the chat, and am gigglingly scoping your recipies.
    Will def make the shavel fennel,red onion, celery salad with salami this week to see if it might work for Thanksgiving!

  2. Great meeting you as well, Russell! Let me know how you like the salad; it’s one of my favorites!

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