Serious Eats: Recipes

Fennel, Arugula and Green Apple Salad

I recently bought one of those Kyocera plastic mandolines—the cheap alternative to large French models—and it's changed everything. Never mind that a cell phone company makes it; this thing works. And it makes me look like a fast, skilled cook, especially with winter salad recipes like this one. Making the dressing, which involves dumping everything into a jar and shaking like mad, is the labor-intensive part. Otherwise, I just lazily slide my vegetables over the mandoline's ceramic blade, resulting in beautiful, paper-thin, uniform slices. I toss, serve, and accept the compliments.

Especially for raw fennel, thin slices are a must; otherwise it's too tough and woody. It can certainly be done with a good sharp knife—it's just going to take longer. This recipe comes from Dave Lieberman's Dave's Dinners, and pairs the fennel with crisp apple and peppery arugula, covering the lot with a citrusy dressing and toasted walnuts. It's extremely light and refreshing, if a little insubstantial. Some crumbled ricotta salata cheese, or even feta, would bulk it up and upgrade it to full-meal status.

About the author: Blake Royer lives in Brooklyn and spends most of his free time cooking and writing about it here at Serious Eats and on The Paupered Chef. From 9 to 5 weekdays, he works as an assistant book editor in Manhattan.

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