Cabbages and cauliflowers, lettuces, collard greens, broccoli, carrots and beetroots – all well-known vegetables. But, if you shop from local markets, then perhaps you’ve come across the renowned fennel (or finocchio) – a white bulbous-like base with plentiful sprouting greenery on top – posing impressively somewhere amongst the other vegetables.
Don’t walk past it, buy it, because you can use all of its parts to lend a gentle hint of ouzo to your salads, soups, tarts and pastas. The white head, which looks like a bulb…but isn’t (it doesn’t grow underground), can be used to create a unique salad overflowing with the fragrance of ouzo, and the only thing it needs is an intense lemony vinaigrette to make it sublime!
Salad with fennel and feta cheese
by chef Costas Papacharalambous
3 fennel heads (the white part) finely chopped
200 gr/7.05 oz. grated feta cheese
2 Tablespoons fresh fennel, roughly chopped (the spray of green on top of the white base which resembles dill)
1 teaspoon salt
For the sauce
(beat everything in the blender until all ingredients are mixed well):
½ cup lemon juice
1 ½ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon spicy mustard
½ teaspoon salt a little fennel (from the green top of the vegetable)
Combine all of the salad ingredients together and set aside for 15-20 minutes so they can absorb all the different flavours of the sauce.
If the mixture is dry, then add a bit more olive oil, but this is optional.