Fennel is back in the CSA rotation! We enjoyed fennel at the beginning of the season, and now the second planting is coming up. It’s fun cooking with crops like these that pair well with early summer/late spring vegetables and late summer/early fall vegetables. This salad is so simple, and also a great way to use the huge bunches of dill in our CSA shares! The key to this recipe is cutting the lettuce very small, and the fennel very thin. I used the food processor slicing blade for the fennel and was done in no time. If you have a mandolin or very sharp knife that will work just as well.
I like to buy the firmer squares of feta, and dice them into small cubes to change things up from the normal crumble. Pre-crumbled feta will work just as well or you can crumble it yourself if you prefer. To cut the fennel remove the fronds, stalks, and bottom. Cut into quarters, but keep the sections in tact. Put them through the food tube of your food processor or slice very thinly. While processing the less pressure you use to feed them through the tube the thinner they will be.
To get the best flavor/presentation out of salads, I typically toss the greens with the dressing and arrange the other veggies and toppings over the greens on a large platter. This salad is more like a chopped salad, the fennel and lettuce are cut to similar size and tossed with the dressing. Arrange the pine nuts and feta over the top of each serving or plate the whole thing on a large platter.
Fennel & Dill Salad serves 4 – 6
1 fennel bulb, sliced very thin
1 head of lettuce, washed and finely shredded into small pieces
1/3 cup chopped dill
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup feta, chopped into small cubes
1/2 cup pine nuts
Toss fennel and greens together. Stir together dressing ingredients and toss fennel lettuce mixture with dressing. If more dressing is desired, mix equal parts dill, olive oil, and white wine vinegar together to desired dressing amount. Transfer salad to a large platter and top with pine nuts and feta.