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 Appétit Test Kitchen)
- 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.