Shaved fennel salad with parmesan and proscuitto
The Denver portion of FTLOG has inspired me to get a little fancy with a few of our meals and this is one of the results. It was a power packed meal with strong flavors, many of which are typical “don’t like” tastes for people, such as arugula, fennel and horseradish (that last one was in the sandwich, not the salad). I’m not sure if I would recommend combining the sandwich we had (roast beef, horseradish cheddar on rosemary ciabatta) with this particular salad but they were both very good on their own terms. And actually the flavors all went well together, it was just a little exhausting for our taste buds!
So on to the salad. It is a popular combination of flavors and you’ll find many recipes on the web for “lemon, fennel, parmesan, salad” but I based mine on The Kitchn’s recipe – here. I didn’t have a source for bresaola and am not a fan of mache so I used proscuitto and arugula. Feel free to tweak your recipe to suit your preferences! If you’re not familiar with fennel, it has a mild licorice flavor and has a similar bulb structure to bok choy. You can use the fennel fronds to flavor butter, eggs, etc and the bulb is often used in salads.
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced*
arugula, 4-5 oz**
2 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 slices of proscuitto
sea salt, black pepper
*I used a mandoline to shave mine but you could also use a food processor or sharp knife.
**We have access to wild, fresh arugula. You want small, tender leaves as the larger ones tend to be bitter.
***I used a veggie peeler to curl four or five slices per salad. Again, a sharp knife would also work.
Shave your fennel and place in a large bowl. Juice your lemon over (about 1 Tbsp) and add 1 Tbsp of olive oil (use high quality oil). Stir to combine and let sit while you prepare your other ingredients. I let mine sit for about 30-40 minutes. Once you’re ready to assemble, toss your arugula with the remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil (adding more if needed), sprinkle in a few shakes of sea salt. Lay your proscuitto on a plate, place a tangle of arugula on top, and then lay some of the lemony fennel over. Dust with pepper and a little sea salt. Top with your parmesan curls and serve with toasted bread or crackers.