To celebrate the launch of our new Salad Bowl, we've been making salads all month long. This Zesty Fennel Salad is one of our favorites, and hits all the right notes for a summer lunch or languid outdoor dinner. Aromatic fennel is known for its digestion-aiding properties, and its warm flavor and crunch are pleasantly offset by the salty-savory hit of shaved Parm, olives and a shower of lemon and orange zest.
Start by making the dressing: use a small, sharp knife to peel 1 large clove of garlic, then pound it with a big pinch of coarse salt and a pinch of fennel seeds (double the fennel flavor!) in Alice's Mortar & Pestle. Add 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar to the bowl along with the zest of half an orange zest, and a pinch of Aleppo or Marash chili. Whisk in a scant teaspoon of neutral honey to fully dissolve before whisking in 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil. Pit 1/4 cup of Kalamata olives and add them to the mortar to marinate in the dressing.
Thinly slice two large fennel bulbs with a mandoline or very sharp chef's knife and place in our Salad Bowl (you want the slices to be no thicker than ⅛"). Use the same slicing method to cut 3-4 red radishes into thin rounds and add to the bowl. Add the zest of one lemon and the second half of the orange and then squeeze the juice of both over top, along with a pinch of sea salt. Toss to coat. Add the plucked, washed leaves of a small bunch of parsley to the fennel, then use a vegetable peeler to shave flat slices of high-quality Parmesan overtop. Add the dressing and olives, toss, taste, tweak acid or oil (if necessary), and serve.