This is especially true in Thathouse lately. I'm back at work. And due to Thatbaby's daycare, my hours are a little different than before, which means I get up super de dooper early in the morning and we all are out the door without any downtime in the morning. When we get home, it's all hands on deck eating and getting the boys ready for bed.
Most of the time I'm back to making dinner after the boys go to bed, but even that has to be quick so I can get to bed early. So I'm really loving dinners that can be thrown together in 10 minutes or less. There aren't a lot of dinners like that. Salads definitely fall in that boat, and I'm lucky that both of my guys think salad for dinner is a normal thing.
This is a quick and crunchy salad, and I highly recommend a mandoline to make cutting the slices faster and easier. The super simple dressing of oil, lemon juice, and salt doesn't even need whisking! Load up on the cheese and you won't even miss a more complex protein source.
Fennel Salad with Asian Pear and Parmesan (From A Homemade Life)
1 medium fennel bulb
1 small Asian pear
crunchy salt, such as Madon or fleur de sel
Wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
fresh ground black pepper
- Cut the stalks and fronds from the fennel and discard them. Using a vegetable peeler or small knife trim away any bruises or brown spots on the bulb's outermost layers of skin. Cut it in half from root to stalk and trim the root end. Using a sharp knife or a mandoline and working with one-half of the bulb at a time, slice the fennel very thinly.
- Using an apple corer, remove and discard the core of the pear. Cut the pear in half from top to bottom. Using a sharp knife or mandolin, slice it very thinly, just like the fennel.
- Assemble the salad in layers on a large platter. First make a wide layer of fennel slices.
- Drizzle lightly with olive oil.
- Then place a layer of Asian pear on top of the fennel.
- Drizzle lightly with lemon juice.
- Season with salt.
- Using a vegetable peeler, shave thin ribbons of cheese on top of the pear.
- Add another layer of the fennel, followed by a light drizzle of oil, and then another layer of pear, lemon juice, salt and cheese.
- Repeat until you run out of ingredients and finish with a good drizzle of lemon juice and a hearty splash of oil.
- Garnish with a few shavings of cheese, salt and pepper.