Whenever I see a fennel bulb, memories flood into my head of my dad picking wild fennel on the side our driveway. I remember him taking a bite and offering me some. I also remember being puzzled as to why my dad loved the taste of fennel; my uneducated palette just didn't get it. When I set a plate of this Arugula Fig & Fennel salad in front of my dad on Cooper's birthday, with beaming eyes he told me how much his father loved figs and how they'd pick them off the trees during this time of year when he was a boy. I could tell the salad triggered a fond memory for his father in the same way fennel triggers my memories of him.
This is what I love the most about feeding others. It's always a pleasure hearing other people's stories and connections with food. It's particularly exciting when food helps brings back memories from my parent's childhood because I am always so eager to learn more about them.
Peppery arugula and crunchy fennel slices are spiked with a simply lemon dressing and finished off with beautiful quarters of sweet juicy figs and shavings of fresh Parmesan. It's a perfectly pretty and well balanced salad. Hurry up! Fig season is almost over!
And we're off!
Arugula, Figs, Fennel, Lemon & Parmesan...there's olive oil around somewhere.
Slice up the figs.
Thinly slice the fennel. A mandolin is quite helpful!
Shave your Parmesan.
Whisk your dressing.
Lay all the ingredients out on a plate and dress! Season with salt & pepper.
A feast of flavors all in one salad.
Arugula Fig & Fennel Salad
(recipe from For the Love of Salad, by Jeanelle Mitchell)
- 6 cups baby arugula
- 1/2 small fennel bulb, cored & sliced paper thin
- 6 fresh ripe figs, quartered
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- sea salt & freshly ground pepper
- shaved Parmesan cheese
Divide the arugula among 4 salad plates. Arrange fennel and figs on top of arugula. Whisk oil and lemon juice in a small bowl and season with salt & pepper to taste. Drizzle vinaigrette over salads and garnish with shaved Parmesan.