This is a combination of two favourite summer salads. It comes together surprisingly quickly, with minimal cooking involved.
- 2 yellow peppers
- 1 small fennel bulb
- 2 eggs, cooked,peeled and sliced into wedges
- 4 tomatoes (vine-ripened are best)
- 1 head soft lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces (not iceberg)
- 1 can anchovies in oil, drained
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- basil leaves, to serve
- 3 tablespoons small black olives
For the dressing
- 75 g feta, drained
- 100 ml olive oil
- 3 -5 sprigs fresh oregano, leaves finely chopped
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar or 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Blacken the peppers over a flame or in your oven.
- When the skin starts to blister, cool a little before wrapping in plastic or putting in a paper bag for about 10 minutes.
- This allows the pepper to sweat and makes the skin easy to remove.
- Peel and then slice into thin strips, removing the seeds and inner white membrane.
- Put the peppers on a plate, season with a bit of olive oil and set aside.
- Trim and thinly slice the fennel before putting in a bowl of chilled water until ready to use.
- Slice the tomatoes, remove the seeds, season with a bit of salt and drain on a plate.
- Make the dressing by crushing the feta in a bowl and then mixing with olive oil, oregano, lemon juice and sherry or vinegar.
- Assemble on a big platter or six individual plates.
- Drizzle the dressing over the leaves, eggs and vegetables.
- Snip over the basil, sprinkle on some olives and serve.
This recipe is a good introduction to fennel if you've never tried it before. I've tried fennel once or twice and was not enamoured by it (I'm being polite, I hated it the previous two times I had it), but on both occasions it had been cooked and this (raw) salad use of it looked interesting. To be completely honest I'm sitting on the fence, I'm not yet in love with fennel so liked this a lot but in very small quantities, and that would usually earn a recipe three stars under my rating system, BUT considering that I actually didn't like fennel at all before this recipe, that means that this recipe has really opened my eyes to something new that I'd pretty well rejected before. (thus earning 4 stars). I will persevere with fennel, albeit in small doses and see if it grows on me further. I REALLY liked that the fennel was less overpowering here, mixed with the tomato, olives etc, helped to blend flavours. You can also tweek this recipe and add more of less of the bits you like most, it's very fresh tasting, packs a zing and is light in taste and texture. As per my rating system I always give a recipe the benefit of the doubt and the higher of two ratings if there differing opinions/reasons. A super recipe if you already love fennel, and a good one to start you off if you are not sure. Thanks Sackville !