Did you know that fennel belongs to the same family as carrots?
This family, officially known as the Apiaceae, is referred to as the celery, parsley and/or carrot family. Besides the above-mentioned plants this family includes anise, chervil, cilantro (coriander), cumin, dill and parsnip among many others.
Fennel is commonly used in French cuisine, but I started to pay attention to this plant only after a couple of years of living in France. When I first tried it I was sort of put off by its taste (it has a strong aniseed flavor), however I noted that its fresh and crunchy structure makes it a perfect addition to many salads. I started to utilize fennel by adding it to salads and after a while I came up with a delicious combination of fennel, avocado and aromatic herbs. I’ve also used celery instead of fennel in the past but I found that a mild aniseed flavor of fennel complements salads better. I’ve also experimented by adding different fruits (or a combination of them) to my salads but by keeping the three main ingredients the same. This salad became one of my summer favorites as it is particularly refreshing.
- 1 medium fennel bulb
- 1 big ripe avocado
- ½ cup blueberries*
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh mint**
- 4 tablespoons avocado oil
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 1 teaspoon honey (optional)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt or to taste
- Start by cutting off stems and fronds at the base of the stalks. Trim off root end of the stalks, cut the bulb into two halves and remove the core. Slice the bulb and stems thinly (you can reserve the fronds for garnish).
- Peel and slice the avocado lengthwise.
- Make a dressing by whisking together the olive oil, lemon and orange juices, honey, and salt.
- Transfer all the ingredients to a large serving bowl, drizzle with the dressing and serve.
- Bon appétit!
**You can use basil leaves instead of mint to alter flavor of the salad.