On a trip to Italy to visit family, I tasted a version of this salad. It was crisp, refreshing and unlike anything I had tried before. The combination of the fresh raw fennel and apple with the creaminess of the Parmesan and pine nuts was delicious - somehow light and hearty at the same time. The fall flavors seemed perfect to complement our Thanksgiving table, so I replaced our green salad with this and a new tradition was born. I love the way these fresh flavors complement the richness of a traditional Thanksgiving meal.
Consider adding sliced oranges for some additional flavor and refreshing moisture or mixing 1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice into the dressing.
Yields: 6 servings
1 fennel bulb, cleaned, center removed and thinly sliced
2 apples, cored, partially peeled and thinly sliced
2-3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup raisins (golden raisins preferred, but any will work)
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Shaved Parmesan cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste
Combine the sliced fennel and apples in a medium bowl. Add the raisins and pine nuts. Season with salt and pepper. Toss with vinegar and olive oil and top with shaved Parmesan cheese.