Fennel has a beautiful aniseed flavour and is delicious both roasted and shaved. I use lemon confit slices to give this a citrus punch and chopped smoked almonds for that added crunch. You can serve this with grilled fish like salmon or barramundi and it would still be beautiful, but my favourite is to serve it as an entree with some prawns. I haven’t put the smoked almonds on this because my husband is allergic, hence, I always have it on the side.
A great way to shave the fennel is by using a mandoline slicer. These come very sharp, so I suggest being careful and using the guard. Even professionals occasionally cut themselves while using these. They’re great because they give you sharp, even, paper thin slices then you can put the slices in ice water and they curl up like the ones in my photos. Most of them come with multiple blade options for julienne slicing, shaving vegetable for slaw and salad, slicing fries, etc. The one on the left below is the one I use, but the one on the right is a good household brand and would do the job at home. This can change the way you present food when you have guests, so give it a try!
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Make this lovely salad at home, and when you do, don’t forget to let me know what you liked (or didn’t like) about it! I’d be excited to see your photos too, so don’t be shy and connect with me on Instagram or Facebook!
Prawn & Fennel Salad
- Pre-heat oven to 180C. Wash fennel and take off the first layer. Trim the fronds and reserve.
- Cut each fennel into quarters from the top. Reserve 1 quarter for shaving, then cut the rest into halves with the core of the fennel keeping the piece together. Arrange on a baking tray, brush with olive oil and roast until soft and caramelised, about 20-30 minutes. Cool down.
- In the meantime, slice lemon into very thin rounds(you can use a slicer if you have one) and bring sugar, water and vinegar to the boil. Add lemon, cover and let sit until completely cold and lemon soft. Drain and reserve liquid.
- Peel and rinse prawns. Set aside. Then with a slicer or a knife, slice the fennel very thinly like paper and put into ice water to crisp up.
- To serve, drain shaved fennel and place in a large bowl. Add the rest of ingredients and use reserved liquid from the lemon as dressing, to taste. Season with salt then sprinkle chopped almonds if using.