Shaved Fennel Salad With Sweet Peas and Avocado
Chef’s Notes: While you can’t let salad greens sit out for long, a fresh chilled fennel bulb retains its crunch over time, perfect for gatherings. When sliced very thinly and seasoned with citrusy vinaigrette, it keeps just a delicate hint of its anise flavor. I like to pair and balance it with a few things fatty and sweet—in this case, ripe avocado, spring peas, nutty cheese, and dried fruit. This salad is endlessly adaptable: sprinkle it with any toasted dried nut or seed, use basil instead of parsley, or play with combinations of different fruits, cheeses, or citrus juices in the vinaigrette.
- 2 fennel bulbs (3 cups), thinly sliced on a mandoline
- 1/4 loosely packed cup torn fennel fronds
- 3 1/2 ounce sugar snap peas, sliced on the diagonal
- 1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced on a mandoline
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 firm-ripe avocado, thinly sliced
- Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved into thin ribbons with a vegetable peeler, for garnishing
- 2 teaspoons dried currants or finely chopped toasted hazelnuts
In a serving bowl, combine the fennel slices and fronds, snap peas, red onion, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, lime juice, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Add the avocado slices and toss gently to incorporate.
Top the salad with about 12 slices of thinly shaved cheese, sprinkle with the currants, and serve.
Reprinted with permission from “Piatti: Plates and Platters for Sharing, Inspired by Italy” by Stacy Adimando, copyright 2019. Published by Chronicle Books.