Try this zesty summer salad for something fresh, clean and crunchy. Dressed with a smooth garlic vinaigrette, this is a simple recipe that will give a kick to your taste buds! It serves about 2 – 3 people as a side salad and lasts in the fridge for about 2-3 days.
I must admit that for quite some time I was stumped about what to do with fennel. I knew fennel had many health benefits like fighting off heart disease but the licorice taste and fibrous texture threw me for a loop. I started looking up fennel recipes that all incorporated fruits but I wanted to keep this on the savoury side. I opted to throw in some cucumber and figured that a green garlic vinaigrette would do well with this dish but the key ingredient was still missing. Alas, that last ingredient was mint! It seems odd but I figure, why not? Mint and licorice make a good pair and it was different than other recipes I’d seen. Before I knew it, I was making a Raita flavoured salad.
Although this recipe does not have any yogurt, the smoothness of the dressing gives it a cream-like consistency which reminded me of the Raita yogurt served in Indian restaurants. Try it out and let me know what you think!
Raita inspired Mint Fennel Salad
- 1 head fennel
- 1/2 cucumber
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 green onion
- 2/3 tsp cumin ground
- 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup sunflower oil
- 1/2 tsp Maple syrup
- handful fresh mint
- In a food processor or blender, add apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, xanthan gum, garlic, green onion, salt, pepper and mint. Blend on high setting and slowly add in sunflower oil a little at a time.
- Taste the dressing and adjust to taste. More maple syrup can be added if you desire a sweeter dressing.
- Clean your cucumber and head of fennel removing any dirt or brown damaged layers.
- Finely slide the fennel and cucumber with a knife or a mandoline slicer. Start with the bottom of the fennel bulb and keep cutting until it gets to the narrow stalks. Keep the green tops for garnishing. Set aside.
- Wash, de-stem and chop handful of mint leaves.
- Toss the fennel, cucumber and mint with the dressing, garnish with chopped top of the fennel bulb.