Saturday, August 14, 2010

Shaved Fennel Salad

Fennel is nothing short of amazing. The cool freshness and snap of every bite of fennel is wrapped in the delicate softness of anise that is both sweet and long lasting. A fennel salad usually has the effect of making me wonder why I don't eat the delicious bulb every day. A few hours later however, I remember. Fennel has powerful medicinal effects. It.. ahem.. gets things moving (in the supplement industry it can be found listed as an ingredient in colon cleansers, and I am pretty sure it is a primary component of "smooth move" tea). In moderation, a nice shaved fennel salad is refreshing and beautiful, and the perfect thing to enjoy for lunch on the patio a hot summer day.

I made a fennel salad this morning before rushing off to the farmers market to sit on a radio panel with Jason DeRusha from WCCO and Jerry Untiedts from Untiedts farm. We were pitted against each other in a trivia competition. I lost to Jason (but only because I had a cramp in my buzzer ;)) After the trivia, the topic turned to tomatoes, and suddenly the three of us were practically tipping out of our seats and butting in on each other to carry the conversation. It was amazing to be surrounded by so many different perspectives all with a common interest in food.

The joy carried on for me throughout the rest of the day. I got to learn from Tammy Wong and Theresa about the importance of love in cooking. Then I met an amazing and adorable couple. They were restaurant owners and food lovers, each of them had rich accents which they wove into our dialogue like strands of colored yarn in an earth-toned blanket. They stopped by for a brief introduction, and inadvertently left me with a spiritual message:

When you are ready to follow your heart, the means to the path will find you.

Shaved Fennel Salad
1 medium bulb fennel (sliced thin)
1 long or 3 small carrots (sliced thin)
8 cherry tomatoes, sliced
1 small bunch basil, chopped

Dress with:
2 Tbsp grape seed oil
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ume plum vinegar
lime zest
1 tsp raw honey

Christina's vote: "I drank the dressing at the bottom of the bowl"

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