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.
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.