Shaved Fennel and Zucchini Salad

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This shaved fennel salad is from one of my favourite food blog writters and cookbook author Heidi Swanson. Her new cookbook Super Natural Every Day is stunning and I am enjoying cooking my way through all the wonderful recipes. I also venture over to her blog frequently to see what she is cooking and look at her beautiful photographs and recipes. This salad recipe is in her new book and was featured recently on her blog and is the perfect recipe for this time of year. It is fresh, crisp and beautiful shades of green. Ideal for a hot summer day.

While it isn’t essential, a mandoline comes in very handy here to get the fennel and zucchini coins paper thin. If you don’t have a mandoline, a sharp knife will do the trick.

This salad is a great way to use fennel and zucchini, both of which are grown in abundance here on the West Coast. The salad is best with small to medium zucchini, the larger ones tend to get a bit bitter and their texture isn’t as nice. The balance of flavours is perfect with the sweet anise flavour of the fennel, peppery bite of the argula, tang of the lemon juice and salty creaminess of the feta.

I served this salad as part of a green inspired lunch with cucumber coolers and broccoli and cheddar soup for a light and satisfying meal.

If you don’t already, be sure to check out 101cookbooks.com and Heidi’s new cookbook.

Shaved Fennel and Zucchini Salad

Prep time:  20 mins

Total time:  20 mins

Serves: 4-6

This recipe is from Heidi Swanson’s latest book Super Natural Every Day. It is also featured on her website 101cookbooks.com. I added some olives to mine for a little added saltiness and texture. I have also skipped the marinating stage and just tossed everything together with the dressing right before serving and it turned out nicely as well.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium-large zucchini, sliced into paper thin coins
  • 2 small or 1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced paper thin
  • ⅔ cup chopped fresh dill, loosely packed
  • ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Honey, if needed to balance the tartness of the lemons
  • Fine-grain sea salt
  • 4 -5 generous handfuls arugula
  • ½ cup pine nuts, toasted (or toasted sliced almonds)
  • ⅓ cup feta cheese, crumbled

Instructions

  1. Combine the zucchini, fennel, and dill in and bowl and toss with the lemon juice, olive oil and ¼ tsp salt. Set aside and let marinate for 20 minutes, or up to an hour.
  2. When you are ready to serve the salad, put the arugula in a large salad bowl. Scoop all of the zucchini and fennel onto the arugula, and pour most of the lemon juice dressing on top of that. Toss gently.
  3. Taste and adjust with more of the dressing, olive oil, lemon juice, or salt, if needed. If your lemons are particularly tart, you may need to balance the flavours by adding a tiny drizzle of honey into the salad at this point.
  4. Top with toasted pine nuts and feta
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