Monday, March 2, 2009

Simply Sally - Fennel Salad

Ok, I admit it, I went to a meat draw at a Legion recently. My friends and I won a ton of meat, huge thick cut steaks and pork. It was fabulous, we barbecued it up and felt like barons for a night. Strangely enough, one of the things that we ate that was most memorable was a salad, a very simple salad. Thinly sliced fennel in a bit of walnut oil, crushed walnuts, sliced cucumber, lemon, salt and shavings of a good Parmesan. We started the meal with it and we were drinking a German riesling which paired amazingly. On a tangent; if you were blindfolded at any liquor store, got someone to push you towards the German riesling, you would have an 80% chance of stumbling into a really great wine and an equal chance of breaking some bottles. Riesling`s the kind of stuff that would make fried eyeballs taste good. Two of my favourite producers are Selbach and Dr.Loosen, both make dry wines from the Mosel region, showing great acidity, fruit and that lovely stoney minerality. But back to the salad, fennel is definitely an unsung hero of the produce department. And I have no idea why, with its soft licorice flavours and a great crunch. It`s very subtle, though, so don`t mix it with anything too powerful; like the brainy kid in class that`s actually really cool, she`ll never speak up if you sit a bully next to her.

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