Monday, October 31, 2011

Turns out, fennel is pretty good

For the longest time, people used to tell me that I didn't like sausage because I didn't like fennel. I'd never had straight up fennel before. So when I was told fennel was a main ingredient in sausage, and that I must be the reason I didn't like it; It made sense I guess.

Except, as I got older, I found out that fennel tastes similar to anise or licorice. I love licorice. Always have. I've always been a fan of anise too. I love a good biscotti and the smell always reminds me of a potpourri decoration that my Nana used to have in the hallway between her bedroom in the living room. So, I thought, this can't really be the reason that I don't love sausage.

Turns out that fennel is not the reason that I can't stand sausage. I'm still not sure why I don't like sausage, but it's not the fennel. Fennel is delicious. Cool, crunchy, with a hint of sweet licorice flavoring. Yum.

Paired with sweet gala apples, crisp celery, and tangy lemon juice, this fennel apple slaw a refreshing take on a traditionally heavy side. It perfectly pairs with barbecue and can even be eaten by itself as a salad, which happens to be how I ate it...all of it.

Celery, Apple, Fennel Slaw (From Bon App├ętit Test Kitchen)
Serves 6
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 celery stalks, thinly sliced diagonally, plus 1/4 cup loosely packed celery leaves
  • 2 small fennel bulbs, thinly sliced crosswise, plus 1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds
  • 1 firm, crisp apple (such as Pink Lady, Gala, or Granny Smith), julienned
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Whisk first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add celery and celery leaves, thinly sliced fennel and chopped fennel fronds, and apple; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


  1. Looks like such a fresh, crunchy salad! I love fennel with some citrus like oranges.

  2. funny, just a few hours ago I was talking with a friend about how I don't like fennel.

    but your recipe looks crunchy and sweet and refreshing.

    I've tried braised fennel and it's not bad. also, it goes well with oranges and olives.