Fennel is one of my all-time favourite things to eat. Shaved thinly and dressed with a little lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and black pepper it’s something I crave, often. It's all I yearned for while pregnant with Ada (okay, cottage cheese and tomato on toast also tasted like the best thing on earth) and it seems both our kids have developed a taste for fennel too. They fight over who has the biggest bowl of salad if it contains fennel, making me the proudest mum in the world!
Along with the rocket and mizuna growing madly in the backyard we also have wild nasturtium flowers popping up everywhere. When I was little they grew all over our property, covering whole hillsides with their bright bursts of colour. I remember Mum used to always try and sneak the flowers into our salads and while they are beautiful and I'm a big fan now, I’m pretty sure we picked them out, every time. Just like my kids did with this salad.
If you haven’t eaten nasturtium before I’d liken it to watercress. They have a similar peppery taste that tingles on the tip of your tongue. They pair beautifully with the equally as peppery rocket and radish, the aniseed flavours of the fennel and mustard notes from mizuna. I decided to use a cider vinegar based dressing, but fresh lemon juice would be just as lovely, or even a combination if you can't decide. If you tolerate dairy I imagine a few shavings of Parmesan or a crumbling of feta wouldn’t go astray.
Lastly thank you for all your well wishes in regards to Si's fractured ankle. It's been pretty full-on, but he now has a cast on and the specialist said it should heal fine in about 4-6 weeks. Also to Rach who asked which brand of gluten-free, dairy-free biscuits I used in the chocolate tofu peanut butter pie recently; I've now posted a link to the brand I use on that post.
- 1 medium fennel bulb (approx 350g)
- 6 medium radishes
- 1 tablespoon capers (in vinegar)
- fennel fronds, finely chopped
- handful of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- 2 good handfuls of rocket and/or mizuna
- 4-6 freshly picked spray-free nasturtium flowers, petals picked off and stems discarded
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon runny honey
- 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt
Finely slice the fennel bulb (reserving a little of the top fronds to add too) and radishes on a mandolin or slice it as thinly as you can with a sharp knife. Place into a large bowl with the capers, finely chopped fennel fronds, chopped flat leaf parsley, rocket/mizuna and nasturtium petals.
To make the dressing mix the mustard and honey in a small bowl until smooth. Add the vinegar and whisk to combine. Slowly drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil, whisking to emulsify. Season well with sea salt.
To serve pour over enough dressing to lightly coat the salad and serve immediately. Any left over dressing can be stored in a glass jar in the fridge for up to 1 week.
This recipe is linked to Slightly indulgent Tuesday over at Simply sugar & gluten-free.