This healthy and refreshing Fennel Salad is a must try, but don't let the fancy name fool you! It is actually quite simple to make. The ingredients may be more costly in comparison to other salads, but it is a great way to try new ingredients. I had some leftover pomegranate molasses on hand and wanted to create a salad dressing from it and thought of a ingredients it may go well with. I grabbed a few main ingredients and created this wonderful fennel salad! If you are not familiar with fennel, it tastes a lot like licorice. It works great in this salad when combined with the sweet beets, candied walnuts and spicy watercress, it just seems to add a great and unique flavor.
For the dressing:
Wash and prepare the fennel. You will need to chop off about an inch above the fennel bulb to remove the stalks, then remove any wilted outer layers of the bulb. You will then need to cut off the root end, halve the bulb cutting it lengthwise then slice thinly for the salad. Once you halve the bulb, you will need to cut out the last part of the root shaped like a "V". To add a sharper anise flavor to the salad, save a few of the sprigs from the stalk and chop them into the salad.
Once the fennel is sliced, you will need to wash and clean the watercress. Chop off the stems, do a quick coarse chop of the leaves and toss them in the salad. Open the cans of beets and drain the liquid, then set aside. Add the fennel and watercress in a large bowl, then mix. Add the beets once you plate the main salad as it will stain the fennel if mixed prior to plating.
For the dressing, use about 1/4 cup of the pomegranate molasses and mix 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Pour on top of the salad and drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil. Mix. Top off salad with the candied walnuts.
The best thing to do with this fennel salad is to eat it for lunch the next day. If you anticipate having leftovers, I suggest you do not pour all of the salad dressing at once, but only on one serving at a time to avoid having a soggy salad the next day.
If you have any leftover fennel, you can use it by adding it into soups or bake it with a fillet of fish.
If you have any pomegranate molasses leftover, store it in the fridge. It has a long shelf life and goes great when mixed in sauces poured over beef, chicken, duck and pork. You can always use it for salad dressings as well.
If you have leftover candied walnuts, you can add them to yogurts, cottage cheese or even bake some muffins!
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