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Fresh locally-grown fennel has made an appearance at our farmer’s market, and this Fennel and Apple Slaw is a great way to enjoy this wonderful root vegetable!
There are different types of fennel – and it’s technically an herb – but the fennel typically found in local produce sections at the supermarket is called Florence fennel (or finocchio) that has a swollen, bulb-like stem base used as a vegetable. Raw fennel is crisp and crunchy with a pronounced anise or licorice flavor that is a terrific, and different, addition to salads like this fennel and apple slaw!
This slaw is a combination of fennel and Napa and red cabbages that have been blanched very briefly to remove some of the raw flavor, but not so much that you lose the wonderful crunch of the vegetables. Next they are combined with apple, celery, carrots, dried cranberries, and golden raisins for a sweet counterbalance to the flavors of the fennel and cabbage. A wonderful, creamy dressing of mayonnaise, sour cream, champagne vinegar plus a touch of sugar pull all the flavors together into a refreshing and delicious slaw!
This fennel and apple slaw is great served with seafood or grilled meats and it’s a wonderful way to enjoy late-summer and early-fall harvest vegetables!
- 2 cups Napa cabbage finely shredded
- 2 cups fennel bulbs finely shredded
- 1 lemon divided
- 1 large granny Smith apple peel left on and sliced into match stick pieces
- 1 cup red cabbage finely shredded
- 1/4 cup celery thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup carrots shredded
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 1/4 cup scallions thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Bring a medium pan of water to a boil, ¾ full and squeeze ½ of a lemon into it.
- Fill a large bowl with ice water and squeeze second half of lemon in and stir.
- When water comes to a boil, place sliced Napa cabbage and sliced fennel into hot water and blanch 30 seconds. Remove from hot water and plunge in ice water bath. Once cool remove to drain. Keep ice bath for next step.
- Cut apples to match stick size pieces leaving skin on and place in ice bath as you cut. Work fast as Granny Smith apples brown quickly. I cut my apple in half after removing core and left one half in the water until I was done slicing the first half.
- Drain apples and discard water bath and ice.
- With a handful of paper towels, squeeze all water from drained cabbage and apples until the mixture is as dry as you can get it. Add this to a large bowl.
- Add red cabbage, celery, carrots, cranberries, raisins and scallions.
- In a small bowl, place mayonnaise and all other ingredients and mix. Taste this and if seasoning needs to be adjusted, add to your taste.
- Now add wet mixture to dry mixture and mix to combine.
- Let slaw sit refrigerated for one hour to blend flavors.
- When ready to serve, mix again and serve.
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