I turn to root vegetables and brassicas when the weather gets colder but the hearty, earthy food of winter also needs counterpoint. I was looking for a bracing salad to refresh us over the holidays and noticed the array of light green in my vegetable drawers.
Quick as a wink, I fed the fennel (anise), celery and green apple through the slicing blade of my food processor. Then, I spritzed them all with the juice of a lime and sprinkled on some walnuts and some salt. Done. This stripped-down cousin of the Waldorf salad was crunchy, slightly acid and, like a holiday hipster, fashionably pale-green, just the somewhat-seasonal appetizer I needed.
Don’t stop there if you want a luncheon dish. The mix is a terrific base for classic chicken or crab-meat salad or for a simple disk of goat cheese. Chopped dill, cilantro or parsley are possible herbal garnishes, especially if the fennel you buy has been shorn of its ferny fronds.
Serves 6 as an appetizer
- 1 medium fennel bulb, including fronds
- 2-3 celery stalks
- 1 large green or yellow apple (such as Pippin, Mutsu or granny Smith)
- 1 lime
- salt, to taste
- 3 tablespoons chopped walnuts
Using the slicing blade of a food processor, slice the first three ingredients thinly. Toss them with the juice of the lime and salt, to taste. Sprinkle with walnuts.