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Tossed Greens with Shaved Fennel

Crunchy fennel and celery dressed in a light lemon vinaigrette give this simple green salad an Italian accent. If you have a mandoline, use it to shave the fennel and celery into thin, uniform, nearly transparent slices.

Ingredients:

For the lemon-garlic vinaigrette:  

  • 6 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice 
  • 1 garlic clove, minced 
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 
  •   
  • 2 fennel bulbs, about 1 1/2 lb. total  
  • 1 celery stalk 
  • 1/2 lb. mixed salad greens 

Directions:

To make the vinaigrette, in a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.

Cut off the stems and feathery fronds of the fennel bulbs and remove any bruised or discolored outer leaves. Cut each bulb in half lengthwise and cut out any tough core portions. Cut the halves crosswise into paper-thin slices. Place the slices in a bowl, add the vinaigrette and toss well. Cut the celery into paper-thin slices, add them to the bowl and toss well. (The vegetables can be prepared up to this point, covered tightly and refrigerated for up to 4 hours.)

Put the salad greens in a large bowl. Add the fennel and celery, along with the vinaigrette, and toss to coat the greens evenly with the vinaigrette. Divide the salad among individual plates or pass the bowl at the table. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Entertaining, by George Dolese (Oxmoor House, 2004).