Fennel, Kohlrabi, and Blueberry Salad – You don’t have to be a snob to enjoy this delicately complex and crunchy salad that utilizes a sometimes baffling summer vegetable.
Is it just me, or does anyone else feel a little stumped when it comes to fennel? I often pass it by in the grocery store and think, “hmmm… I wonder who buys that stuff…?” After all, it does taste a bit like licorice! It’s probably just something that snobby chefs magically turn into something yummy so that I’ll pay them twenty-five dollars for five bites of salad.
Recently I’ve been getting fennel in my weekly, local crop share. As such, I have had no choice but to embrace this strange and, let’s say “uniquely-flavored” vegetable. If you’re a little unfamiliar with fennel, it’s the groovy vegetable on the right in the photo below. Yes, I called it groovy…
I’ve decided that fennel is best served with a touch of sweetness, and I love it raw because it adds a nice crunch to whatever it’s in. Thus I’ve been pairing it in salads with a variety of seasonal local fruits like berries and watermelon. My favorite recipe so far is the one I’m sharing with you today – a Fennel, Kohlrabi, and Blueberry Salad.
In this recipe I combined mild kohlrabi with spicy fennel which creates double the crunchiness, but tempers the licorice flavor. It’s then topped with fresh, sweet blueberries, plump and delicate Marcona almonds, fresco (not aged) asiago, and dainty fennel fronds. For the dressing I combined lemon, honey, and celery seed which brings the dish together to make a bright summer salad with delicate, complex notes.
Really, this salad went gourmet all over my humble townhouse kitchen! I served it with some delicious whitefish cooked in shallot butter. I then enjoyed it while sitting at my beat-up Ikea table (aka homework/craft/science project/dinner table), and declared that an average girl like me is snobby enough for a little gourmet in her life!
- 1 C thinly sliced fennel bulb
- 1 C peeled, thinly sliced kohlrabi bulb
- 1 C blueberries
- ¼ C finely chopped green onion
- ½ C fresco (i.e., not aged) asiago cheese, chopped
- ¼ C chopped marcona almonds
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp lemon
- 1 Tbsp honey
- ⅛ tsp celery seed
- ⅛ tsp salt
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- fennel fronds for garnish
- Using a mandoline slicer, thinly slice a cup each of fennel and kohlrabi. Combine in a large bowl with the remainder of the salad ingredients and set aside.
- In a small bowl whisk together the dressing ingredients.
- Pour the dressing over the salad in the large bowl. Toss the salad in order to coat evenly with the dressing. Garnish with fennel fronds as desired. Serve immediately.