If you like mild anise flavors, more than likely you will love this salad. Fresh fennel combines crisp texture with its lovely licorice notes. It makes a lovely counterpoint with the smoked salmon.
Of course you can serve it with cocktails (a summertime gin & tonic comes to mind), but it can also be a dinner entree if serving two.
SMOKED SALMON AND FENNEL SALAD
Yield: 2 as a main course, 4 as an appetizer or first course
1 medium-large bulb of fresh fennel, washed, stalks and fronds cut off and reserved
1/8 red onion, peeled, thinly sliced
1 lemon (1/2 teaspoon minced zest, 1 tablespoon juice)
Coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper
4 to 6 ounces sliced smoked salmon
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Garnish: cherry tomatoes and sliced radish
Optional for serving: warmed baguette
1. Cut fennel bulb in lengthwise quarters and cut out core; discard core. Cut crosswise into thin slices and place in bowl. Chop about 1/4 cup of fronds and place in bowl with slices. Add onion slices. Add zest and juice. Toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss again. Taste and add more lemon juice if needed. Don’t over-salt because smoked salmon can be salty.
2. Arrange salmon on platter or individual plates. Top with salad, allowing portions of salmon to peek through. Drizzle with olive oil. Garnish with cherry tomatoes and sliced radishes.