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Fennel Top Caesar Salad

Cook Time:
1 hr
Prep Time:
45 mins
Servings:
4
RATE THIS RECIPE
(5)

Chef notes

One of the reasons I love this recipe is that it's full of familiar flavors — who doesn't love a Caesar salad? You can make this recipe with any sturdy vegetable, like Brussels sprouts or carrots, but I choose fennel here just because it's one of my favorites. A traditional Caesar salad doesn't have any vegetables, so this version is a nice way to make the dish more vegetable-forward. If you have leftover granola, snack on it throughout the day.

Technique tip: Using a mandolin to slice the fennel, kohlrabi, cucumbers and apple allows for speed and consistency. However, you can use a sharp chef's knife. Since the veggies are served raw, the thinner the better!

Special equipment: Japanese mandolin and rasp grater.

Swap Option: Use radish or turnip instead of kohlrabi.

Ingredients

Fennel Top Oil
  • fennel fronds, trimmed from 1 fennel bulb
  • 2 cups neutral oil, such as canola
Fennel Top Caesar Dressing (makes 1 quart)
  • cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 anchovies
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 4 lemons, zested
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups Fennel Top Oil (recipe above)
Savory Granola (makes 1½ cups)
  • 1/2 cup pepitas
  • 1/2 cup unroasted and unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 3 tablespoons flaxseeds
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup amaranth seeds
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon fennel pollen or fennel seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon Calabrian chile paste
Fennel Top Caesar Salad
  • 1 head kohlrabi, peeled and thinly shaved
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, thinly shaved
  • 1 large bulb fennel, thinly shaved
  • 1 English cucumber, thinly shaved
  • 4 tablespoons Fennel Top Caesar Vinaigrette (recipe above)
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Savory Granola (recipe above)
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 6 ounces aged Parmesan cheese, shaved

Preparation

For the fennel top oil:

Add fennel fronds and oil to a blender and blend until homogenous.

In a medium-size pot set over high heat, add the fennel oil. Whisk and bring to a boil, about 1 minute. Continue to boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat and cool.

For the fennel top Caesar dressing:

Add all ingredients except for the fennel top oil in a blender and blend until homogenous.

On a low speed, slowly stream in oil and blend until emulsified. Store in a quart container in the refrigerator; it will keep for a month.

For the savory granola:

1.

Preheat the oven to 245 F.

2.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients.

3.

Transfer the mixture to an unlined baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes with a spatula. Cool completely before transferring to an airtight container.

For the fennel top Caesar salad:

In a large bowl, add kohlrabi, apple, fennel, cucumber and prepared dressing and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer salad to a large serving platter. Top with savory granola, lemon zest and a heavy shaving of Parmesan cheese.