Cucumber Fennel Mint Salad
This Cucumber Fennel Mint salad is best served on a hot day or when you desire a very refreshing side dish. The freshness from the fennel bulb and the cucumber served chilled makes this recipe so cooling.
Fennel has an inherent anise flavor which is subtle but can add a layer of flavor not found in other salad ingredients. This Cucumber Fennel Mint salad also contains pear which adds a natural sweat component while still containing moisture and that cool refreshing quality.
The aromatics from the mint brighten up the look and intensify the flavors of this Cucumber Fennel Mint salad. Mint is such a wonderful and versatile herb.
In this recipe I recommend 2 -3 tablespoons but if you like it a little more cooling and refreshing don’t hesitate to add more and or try adding a different kind of mint as there are many varieties that can add some additional unique flavor qualities. I enjoy using many different varieties of mints yet know some are better in salads while others make better teas.
Cucumber Fennel Mint Salad Recipe
1 Small Fennel Bulb, julienned into 1/8 inch strips
2 Persian Cucumbers, skin left on and cut julienned 1/8 inch
1/2 -1 Pear, peeled and julienned into 1/8 inch strips
1 teaspoon Lime zest
1 Lime, juiced
2-3 tablespoons Fresh Mint, cut chiffonade
1 tablespoon Olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Wash and cut fennel bulb leaves and stalks at the top and peel off the outer skin. (Save the green leaves or what I call feathers for other dishes chop and freeze).
Slice the fennel bulb in half and cut the core of each half.
Lay one of the halves onto a cutting board and slice across the bulb to make 1/8 inch thick (panels) cuts.
Stack the thin panels on top of each other and slice across 1/8 inch at a time to make small julienne pieces of fennel. Repeat the process until the full bulb has been cut up. Put into a medium size bowl.
Cut the un-skinned washed cucumber (if using Persian, if not peel & seed a reg. cucumber) into julienne strips and add to bowl. Cut cucumber in half and take one of the halves and cut that in half-length wise. Lay the flat side on your cutting board and continue to cut into 1/4 inch slices. Then continue to make 1/4 inch strips from each slice and add to bowl. Continue this process with the other half.
Zest lime and save for later.
Wash and peel pear and Squeeze lime juice over it (so it doesn’t brown to fast) and cut into julienned strips and add to bowl. Cut the pear in half lengthwise and cut the core out. Lay the flat side of the pear on your cutting board and continue to cut into 1/4 inch slices. Then continue to make 1/4 inch strips from each slice and add to bowl. Continue this process with the other half.
Chiffonade the mint: Take the leaves off of the stems and compost the stems. Stack the leaves on top of each other and roll length wise. Cut width wise into small slices and sprinkle over the julienne fruit.
Add the remainder of lime juice, zest, olive oil, salt and pepper over the julienned fruit. Toss all together very gently as not to break the fragile fruit.
Put onto a serving plate and Enjoy! It is so refreshing.