Monday, February 22, 2010

Dama Bianca

We are usually no fans of fennel, to anise-y for our taste, but we received one this week in our produce basket and I am determined to use it all.

I came across this recipe, that was easy and had cheese, so how bad could it be. As it turns out we really liked it. The lemon mellowed the anise flavor and the cheese was a nice touch.

Dama Bianca :: Fennel and Celery Salad
2 medium fennel bulbs, stalks discarded
6 pale inner (white) celery stalks, leaves discarded and stalks thinly sliced
1 (1/2-pound) ball buffalo mozzarella (optional), roughly torn
1/2 tablespoon grated lemon zest (preferably from an unwaxed organic lemon)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
6 tablespoons good-quality fruity extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Thinly slice the fennel and toss with the celery.

The best tool to zest the lemon is a Microplane. They now come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They were originally made as a wood working tool, but chefs soon learns the versatility of them and they have truly taken off. They are not only grate for zesting, but they are great for ginger as well.

Top with the rest of the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper.

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