Sunday, December 11, 2016

Fennel Salad

This is another great winter salad.  It's not the prettiest to look at, since all the ingredients except for some fresh herbs are either white or beige.  But, what it lacks in curb appeal, it more than makes up for in flavor!  Slightly spicy chickpeas, super cream goat cheese, and crunchy fennel are an awesome combination.  And, since fennel keeps much better than lettuce, this is a perfect make-ahead lunch.  I'd keep the fennel in one container and the rest of the toppings in another, and then combine right before serving.    

Fennel Salad with Toasted Chickpeas (adapted from The Kitchn)
Serves 1, easily multiplied

1 medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
1-2 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
Minced fennel fronds
Minced parsley
Toasted Chickpeas, recipe below
Dressing of your choice (I recommend a creamy balsamic or Annie's Goddess dressing)

Toss the sliced fennel with the lemon juice -- this will help avoid browning, if you want to slice the fennel ahead and have it ready to go when you want to eat.  When you're ready to serve, toss everything together -- you can adjust the proportions as you like (more chickpeas for more protein, extra goat cheese if you like a creamier salad, more herbs if you like a bit more green in your salad, etc.).

Toasted Chickpeas (adapted from The Kitchn)

Generous drizzle of olive oil
15-ounce can of chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and patted dry
Generous pinch of Aleppo chili flakes (or other chili flakes)
Generous pinch of salt

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  When hot, add the chickpeas to the skillet.  Cook without stirring for a few minutes, until lightly browned on the bottom.  Add salt and chili flakes, and shake the pan to combine everything.  Cook, stirring as needed, until the chickpeas are nicely golden brown all over.  Cool slightly before serving, or store in the fridge in an airtight container.

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