About Beth

Beth
Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene
Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah
Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug
Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy
Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi
Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan
Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry
Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma
Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim
Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

« Shredded Carrot Salad | Main | Sunchoke and Spinach Salad »

Finocchio Salad

The fewer the ingredients, it seems to me, the more important each one becomes. Since you can't get 'fewer' than one and still have any dish at all, the finocchio is pretty important to this one.

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I tried my hand at growing my own fennel last summer. At the time I didn't know there was a difference in the taste between "male" & "female" bulbs. In fact, I didn't even realize that fennel wasn't asexual. Fortuantely for me, my little deck garden produced both.

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Here's what Marcella has to say about selecting fennel bulbs: "Italian's distinguish between male and female finocchio, the first with a stocky, round blub, the latter flat and elongated. The "male" is crisper and less stringy, and it has a finer scent, qualities that are particularly desirable when it is to be eaten raw."

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Preparing fennel salad is a study in simplicity. Choose one or two "male" bulbs (depending on size). Trim and wash, then slice into very thin slices. Since I'm not exactly a pro with my knife skills, I used a mandolin for control and uniformity. Soak in cold water and dry.

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Toss in a serving bowl with salt, enough olive oil to coat it well, and add plenty of fresh ground pepper. That's it, folks. One main ingredient, a little salt, a little pepper, and olive oil. But I promise, if you try this salad, it will become an instant favorite.

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Comments (5)

How wonderful that you grew your own fennel, it looks so pretty.

I love this salad and what could be easier?

We go through 2-3 fennel bulbs a week! I LOVE fennel. Growing some sounds like a great idea. I also love it with oranges and a blood orange vinaigrette.

YUM! WE love fennel but sadly it has gotten to be $ 3 for a bulb smaller than my fist. I will have to wait until it is back in season before I make this.

Deborah responds: Jerry, you and Paul should try growing some. It takes no effort at all. However it does require a bit of space.

Marcella Hazan:

That window box of fennel is adorable. The mandoline makes doing this salad a snap.

Marta:

I am a fennel lover! Never had it as a kid growing up. Don't think my mother even knew what it was. In my 20's I was served sliced raw fennel by one of my mother's old friends. (This lady always was ahead of the pack with interesting food.) I think she served the fennel with turtle soup that day for lunch. I will never forget my first bite! I really couldn't believe that a flavor like that could come from a vegetable.
There really isn't anything like a bulb of simply dressed sliced fennel for a refreshing salad.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 15, 2011 6:12 AM.

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