I thought I would share a salad recipe that uses the Zesty Vinaigrette recipe that I gave you all last week. It’s a great wintertime salad and uses plenty of awesome veggies that work hard to help cleanse your body of yucky stuff. And while it is wonderfully good for you in the health and nutrition department, the main reason I love it so much is that it’s completely and totally yummy.
Fennel, apple and brussel sprouts come together in a sweetness that balances well with the blue cheese and the vinaigrette. Since you’re using such a small amount of blue cheese, splurge on a good one, it’s worth it. And for the citrus in the vinaigrette, I prefer orange with this salad, but it’s completely up to your taste buds. I just feel the orange pairs well with the flavors of the fennel.
Depending on where you shop and what part of the world you’re in, fennel might be called anise, so don’t give up if you don’t find “fennel.” Instead, check the stores for anise and I’m sure that everyone can find it. Here in the US, it’s an expensive ingredient but I recently realized our local Asian market sold it fresh on the shelves as anise for about a third of what it costs in the regular grocery stores. So look around a little and you can probably find it for a much more affordable price.
For those of you looking for a special salad for the upcoming Valentine’s Day, this one will work beautifully for it because it’s so special and the perfect starter for that special lover’s meal. Add some roasted or grilled chicken and you can turn it into a complete light meal for lunch. The one thing not to forget is that however you make it or for whatever event, remember to sit back and enjoy it!
Fennel, Apple and Brussel Sprout Salad
1 small fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced
1 cup Brussel sprouts, halved or quartered depending on how large they are
1 red apple (preferably a crisp, sweet-tart variety like Pink Lady or Pinata)
1/4 cup cranberries
1 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp. raw almonds, crushed or pieces
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
Zest for half of orange
Turn oven on to 450° F. Toss cut up Brussel Sprouts with olive oil, salt and pepper and place on a cookie sheet or baking dish. Roast until turning brown, stirring occasionally, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Toss and mix all the ingredients including the Brussel sprouts in a large bowl, except the blue cheese. Drizzle lightly with the Zesty vinaigrette to help keep the apples from turning brown and coat well. Add the blue cheese right before serving to keep from turning mushy. Serve with more vinaigrette on the side for those who want more.
If making ahead, leave out the apple, cheese and vinaigrette until ready to serve. Salad can be made up to a day ahead by leaving out those ingredients.
Makes about 4 servings.
More healthy but equally wonderful tasty salad ideas: