As my fiance and I checked out one of L.A.’s hot new dining spots, I chose to forgo a dish of heavy pasta for a few bites of my sweetie’s, and I ordered myself an entree salad. Now, it’s not often that a salad can stand up to a dish of pasta, yet this one left me salivating for days! I had to create a version at home immediately (I don’t know the next time I can wait that long for a table in L.A.!).
Something about the anise flavored fennel paired with fresh citrus dressing, peppery arugula, refreshing and light summer squash blend with nutty finish of hazelnut and Parmesan…I am lusting over it typing this! This recipe is a perfect example of simple and bright done right and it showcases the complex flavors of fresh vegetables, no fancy techniques or stove turning on needed!
While I’m lucky enough to have access to organic produce and farmer’s markets in my backyard, you can defer to the Environmental Working Groups Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen to prioritize which veggies for this you must buy organic, and which ones you have a little leniency on!
Summer Squash and Fresh Fennel Salad (adapted from Jon & Vinny’s)
3 cups organic baby arugula
2 zsummer squash (blend of your choice, yellow or green), shaved lengthwise, paper thin
1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and shaved thin (I used a mandolin to shave paper thin)
1/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted and slightly crushed
1.5 oz. Parmesan cheese, freshly shaved
Juice of one lemon
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
½ tsp. fresh cracked pepper
1/3 cup organic, extra virgin olive oil
Prepare vegetables and toss in mixing bowl.
Make dressing, add all ingredients into blender and emulsify.
Toss arugula, zucchini, and fennel with desired amount of dressing (reserve extra on side if desired). Garnish with parmesan and toasted hazelnuts. Finish with generous sprinkle of cracked black pepper.