A few weeks ago, I spent a lovely evening make a feast with a friend and holistic nutritionist in training. We had both had very busy and active days are were looking forward to really filling up. So we did. We filled up on good food and conversation (and a bit of red wine).
This salad looks beautiful but is so simple to make. It will wow your guests/friends/family without taking up all of your time. We paired it with a thick and creamy blended soup and were absolutely stuffed full of veggie-goodness.
This was one of my first times using fennel in my kitchen. I must say: most underrated vegetable EVER goes to fennel. Hands down. Taste wise and nutritional benefits that are unbeknownst to most.
Fennel is a great source of Vitamin C, potassium and dietary fibre. It is frequently eaten for its medicinal properties. It is an amazing vegetable for your digestive system. It is:
- anti-spasmotic: reduces intestinal cramping
- carminative: relieves gas and bloating, relieves and soothes pain
While I only used the bulb in this recipe, all parts of the plant are edible: bulbs, seeds, stalks and fronds (GREAT word!). Seriously, how cool are plants?!
What to look for:
When picking out your fennel at the market or grocery store, opt for one with the stem and bulb attached for optimal freshness. Also, give it a sniff. Fresh fennel should have a fragrant licorice scent.
It is delish used raw in salads, added to sandwiches (or Avocado Toast), blended in smoothies or fresh juices, roasted with your favourite root or starchy vegetables, used soups + stocks, tossed in a stir-fry or munched on plain for a quick treat for your digestive system. Chomping on a couple of fennel seeds is also great after a meal for a breath-freshening, indigestion-healer.
- 4 medium tomatoes (I used Heirloom cause they are pretty and taste amazing)
- 1 bulb fennel
- 2 tbsp capers (or more if you love them)
- 8 basil leaves
- extra-virgin olive oil (for drizzling)
- 1 tsp coconut oil (for roasting)
- generous fresh cracked salt + pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Slice the fennel into strands.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay fennel onto parchment paper. Warm coconut oil in the oven then drizzle it onto the sliced fennel. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 25 minutes.
- Slice the tomatoes into 1/4 inch thick slices and spread around the plate.
- Finely chop the basil and sprinkle on top of the tomatoes.
- Arrange the roasted fennel on the plate. Sprinkle on the basil and capers.
- Drizzle with olive oil and top with salt and pepper.
- Feast away!