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Fennel Radish Pear Pecan Salad
As you may have noticed from posts like the one about the Roasted Red Pepper Jam or the very versatile Quinoa Salad, I like recipes that do more than one thing. When we’re talking about the kitchen, there’s only one thing I like better than an amazing tasting meal. That is my love of an amazing tasting meal that comes together in minutes. Usually that is made possible by allowing my efforts in the kitchen to do double duty.

Now at first marinated radishes and fennel may not seem like much, but you’ll be amazed at what you can do with a recipe that takes 5 minutes of prep time. So please don’t abandon this recipe just yet. It has plenty of room to wow.

Once the prep is done, these babies sit in the fridge (or your picnic basket) and time does the rest of the work. Brilliant!

 ”I love work. I could watch it all day long.”

If it is not immediately obvious what you can do with this little diddy, let me elaborate.

Marinated Fennel and Radishes

I originally prepped the marinated radishes and fennel for a salad. Though the 2 veggies have a very different flavor profile, the two play like old kindergarten friends. Radishes are spicy, clean and pungent. Fennel is sweet and light. The flavors of spicy and sweet, pungent and light, play the age old game of opposites attract. Even though they seem quite different, you’ll be surprised to know that they have a few other things in common. Most importantly in this case, they both pair well with pears, pecans and mint!

And that’s how the game of eat the Marinated Fennel, Radish and Pear Salad began. And it was good.

But it doesn’t have to stop there, even though it could -and would – more than substantiate the small amount of effort. Bring these along to a picnic or consider serving the marinated fennel like pickles on a salmon burger for a gourmet experience. These marinated veggies would make a statement along side smoked salmon, strong aged cheeses like Pecorino or Parmesan. So next time you’re entertaining, consider adding these little diddys to your dinner party. Whether it be the salad, a garnish on a gourmet sandwich or burger, or along side an antipasto plate of charcuterie, roasted pepper, olives and cheese.

Though I could eat these like candy, here are a few more ideas.

Salads: Add To Marinated Fennel and Radishes…

  1. Arugula, Feta, Walnuts and a drizzle of olive oil
  2. Segmented Oranges, Grapefruit, Spinach, shaved Pecorino and a drizzle of olive oil
  3. Paprika Spiced Prawns, Butter Lettuce, Grated Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil

Sandwiches and Burgers (Fennel Only )

  1. Watercress Pesto, Smoked Salmon and Creme Fraiche on toasted Rye
  2. Grilled Salmon Burger and Garlic Aioli
  3. Left over pork loin, sliced Pear on Sourdough
  4. Sliced Chorizo, roasted Red Peppers, Aged White Cheddar on Ciabatta
  5. Cumin Spiced Eggplant and Portobello Mushroom Burger

Picnic or BBQ:

  1. Along side roasted chicken, lamb or pork
  2. On a fishing trip, along side pan seared trout
  3. With burgers, devil eggs and potato salad

 

Fennel Pear Salad

Marinated Fennel, Radish and Pear Salad

Serves 4

  • 8 cups spinach
  • marinated fennel and radishes (see recipe below)
  • 1 pear, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup pecans, roasted
  • fresh mint to garnish
  • olive oil

Arrange the spinach on a plate or in a bowl. Top the spinach with a quarter of the fennel and radishes. Add a quarter of the sliced pear. Finish by garnishing with roasted pecans, mint and a drizzle of olive oil.

Marinated Fennel and Radishes

Prep time 5 minutes: Refrigerate 2 hours

  • 12 radishes
  • 1 small fennel root
  • 1/2 cup each chopped parsley and cilantro
  • 3 green onions, whites and greens, sliced
  • 1/2 red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup Agave syrup or 3 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • a good dose of fresh ground pepper

Trim and quarter the radishes. Thinly slice the fennel root and the green onions. Add the radishes, fennel, herbs and green onions in a large jar or container. Mix together the vinegar, water, agave or honey, salt and pepper. Add the vinegar mixture to the vegetables. Allow to marinate for 2 hours.

Note: If making the marinated fennel and radishes a day in advance, reserve the herbs and add them either 2 hours before serving or add them to the dish freshly chopped.

Marinated Fennel and Radishes collage

 

Do you have a fun way of using up radishes or fennel? Let me know in the comments below! 

Oh, and don’t forget, the Real Food ebundle (which includes my cookbook The Whole Food Revelation) is only on sale until June 24th, 2013. Stock up on tons of amazing whole food recipes, 5 awesome ebooks, and save 78% OFF in the process. Find out more right here. 



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