Fall Fennel and Arugula Salad

It’s amazing to me how the summer months fly by. Before you know it, the kids are back in school, the leaves fall from trees and the air turns crisp. I love summer as much as anyone, but I do enjoy the transition into fall as I get to adapt many of my summertime recipes to fit the cooler weather.

I see fennel as a fantastic transition vegetable. It’s texture is crunchy and flavor delicious. It’s also a wonderful source for calcium, folic acid, vitamin C. Not to mention it helps with digestion, keeps your breath fresh and soothes stomach aches. You can combine fennel with so many great flavors - it works well with melon, apples and below I chose red currants with lemon. The tart and sweetness of the currants mixes well with fennel’s aromatics. Throw on some toasted spelt for some crunch and wholesome grain - and you’re set!

If you’re looking for an easy, healthy salad to make as we enter a new season, take a peek below at a simple salad that will be a treat to your tastebuds.

Fennel Fall Salad with Red Currants and Toasted Spelt
Makes approx. 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (plus another 2 tbsp olive oil for toasting spelt)
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill (or ½ tsp dried dill)
  • 2 tbsp currants
  • 2 medium sized fennel bulbs
  • 1 cup Arugula
  • 1 cup spelt
  • 1 Lemon (garnish)* 

Instructions:

  • Combine lemon juice, salt, pepper, dill, olive oil and currants in a mixing bowl
  • Trim the tops of the fennel and keep about ½ cup of the fronds. Cut the bulbs in half, trim any marks then slice as finely as possible. Add the fennel to mixing bowl and toss to avoid discoloration
  • Add fennel fronds and arugula to the mixing bowl
  • Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a medium skillet. Add spelt and cook, stirring often, until grains are two shades darker, about 3-5 minutes
  • Toss toasted spelt into the mixing bowl
  • Serve onto plates, finish with a good grinding of fresh black pepper and a lemon spiral

*To make a lemon spiral garnish: Take 1 lemon and slice a ring from it. Make one small slice through one side of the peel and pulp (you’re not cutting the ring in half though.) Remove the pulp so you have one long piece of rind. Twist the peel into a curly shape (it should naturally hold its shape.)

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