I was alerted to this recipe by a friend recently, who said she had heard about it from a friend of hers. One of those by-word-of-mouth legendary recipes. I was immediately intrigued and went rummaging through my Jamie Oliver cookbooks and found it in his very first one – ‘The Naked Chef’. The one where he looks so very young on the cover.
I’m not a mega fan of fennel, although it has to be said that this aniseedy vegetable is definitely growing on me. I quite like radish, but I wouldn’t want it to take center stage. When put together this salad of the two ingredients with a very simple dressing of lemon juice and olive oil is simply spectacular.
In terms of quantities make as big a salad as you will need working on a ratio of 2 parts fennel to 1 part radish.
There are a few little things you need to do to ensure this is a success and they are:
Slice the vegetables as thinly as you can, and I find that using a mandolin is the only way to achieve this. You then need to soak the sliced vegetables in a bowl of ice cold water with ice cubes added. This transforms them into the crispiest texture that will have you crunching your way through this salad with much glee.
Do all of this immediately before you want to serve this salad.
To make the dressing, Jamie uses a recipe (which serves 4):
- 2 T lemon juice
- 5 T olive oil
- 1 t salt
- 1 t pepper
I didn’t follow this and simply tossed olive oil and lemon juice in until I thought it tasted right. I did sprinkle over a generous amount of salt and pepper, it adds so much to the salad so don’t be shy.
*ps – the plates and bowl in this shot were designed and created by Mervyn Gers
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