A beautiful, delicious, seasonal salad - the perfect way to add a fresh touch to all those winter, comfort meals!
A few weeks ago, we met our son and daughter-in-law at Whole Foods for a Sunday brunch. There was a wonderful, almost dizzying spread to choose from, including pizzas, salads, breads, soups, sandwiches, and a hot bar with lots of breakfast, lunch and dinner options. We enjoyed checking it all out and making our choices. It's funny, with all that variety, there was one thing that really captured my fancy.
Lindsay and I noticed it about the same time. "Look at that salad!", she said. I was was already staring at it. It was so pretty and it enticed us both. At first, we thought it was simply green apples and arugula. Then we noticed the little name card; Apple-Fennel Salad. "Oh, that sounds delicious" I said. Lindsay and I both proceeded to fill up little containers and added it to our selections.
We both loved the salad. It was delicious, simple and fresh tasting. Of course, I went home thinking about it. And you might be guessing what I did the next day. Yup, I picked up a bag of pretty arugula, a tart Granny Smith apple and a fennel bulb at the market and made up my own version of the wonderful salad. Honestly, I have no idea what type of dressing was used on the Whole Foods salad. I used a simple lemon-olive oil dressing with a drizzle of honey. A handful of sweet golden raisins complement the tart apples and roughly chopped fennel fronds add a bit of pretty texture.
This Granny Smith and Fennel Arugula Salad is a wonderful, fresh side for any wintery comfort dinner. It also makes a lovely meal, topped with roasted salmon or grilled, pan-seared or rotisserie chicken. We love it as a accompaniment to grilled sandwiches too.
If you're visiting Whole Foods and you notice two women exclaiming over the offerings, it's probably me and my sidekick, Lindsay. Stop and say hello, we'd love to meet you!
For your Pinning pleasure!
Lots of people ask what kind of cookware, small appliances, cutlery, etc. I use in the kitchen. Here's what I used to make this recipe.
- For the salad:
- ⅓ cup golden raisins
- 2 teaspoons apple juice or water
- 5 ounce bag baby arugula
- 1 medium Granny Smith apple halved, cored and thinnly sliced
- ½ medium fennel bulb thinly sliced
- ½ cup roughly chopped fennel fronds optional*
- For the dressing:
- 1 medium clove garlic finely minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Place raisins and apple juice (or water) in a small microwave-safe cup or bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 30 seconds. Remove from microwave and set aside to cool. (This simple little technique will plump and moisten the raisins.)
For the dressing, place all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk with a fork or small whisk till everything is well combined.
For the salad, place arugula in a medium size salad bowl. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the dressing. Toss to coat the greens with dressing. Top with sliced apples, fennel and golden raisins. Lightly toss again. Drizzle salad with a little more dressing. Scatter chopped fennel fronds over the top, if desired. Pass the extra dressing at the table.
* Generally, when you buy fennel at the grocery store or market, you will find it as a bulb with long stalks. It will look like this. The stalks will have fine "fronds", looking similar to fresh dill. The fronds are edible, and give a salad like this lots of pretty texture.