Fennel is one of my favorite snacks and side dishes and it’s working its way into mainstream cooking more and more these days. It’s like a lot of Italian dishes from my youth that once were ethnic-only foods and now are being more widely recognized (can you say lentil soup or squid, two other similar examples).
Bon Appetit magazine recently featured this recipe for a shrimp salad with fennel and cucumber. It would make a great summer starter for a cookout with friends and family. Rather than cooking the shrimp as recommended in the recipe, you could grill them. Here’s a garlic and herb grilled shrimp recipe from Food.com. I would likely leave out the sugar on that one, as I would leave out the salt on the salad recipe.
Here’s the Bon Appetit ingredient list, minus the salt:
2 pounds small shell-on shrimp
2 fennel bulbs, sliced crosswise ¼-inch thick, fronds reserved
1 English hothouse cucumber, sliced ¼-inch thick
1 small red onion, very thinly sliced into rings
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
¼ cup (or more) fresh lemon juice
Coarsely ground black pepper
⅓ cup olive oil
½ cup small dill sprigs
Once the shrimp is cooked, you simply build your salad with the other ingredients. It’s simple and tasty as well, the lemon is always a welcome flavor touch. Enjoy!