Arugula & Fennel Salad with Lemon Shallot Vinaigrette
I often find myself drawing my culinary inspiration from dishes I try when dining out. I love to empower my tastebuds to draw out all of the flavors and identify what the spices//herbs//ingredients are, then recreate it at home. I was recently in San Francisco looking for a late night food spot after a GS Warriors game and stumbled across this swanky, hipster Italian spot Beretta (feel free to check out our Yelp review here). To balance out the savory Italian dishes, I ordered the arugula and fennel salad which also came tossed with shaved parmesan and in a light, lemony dressing. For my version, I nixed out the parmesan to make it plant based and experimented with some leftover shallots I had from a previous meal to make my own tasty vinaigrette.
If you're reading this recipe and find yourself intimidated by any of the ingredients, do not fret! I myself have never cooked with fennel or raw shallots. Although shallots mirror garlic in terms of appearance, they are a part of the onion family, minus the harsh taste that onions bear. They are a bit sweeter, make a very flavorful addition to dishes and dressings in their raw state, and provide all of the antioxidant//anti-inflammatory//immune system supportive//anti-fungal//blood glucose balancing (are ya listen'n diabetics??)//liver detoxification benefits of onions and garlic. Phew, that was a mouthful but it's important for me to help you start thinking beyond taste when it comes to your food choices! As for fennel, this surprisingly flavorful licorice tasting herb is packed with vitamin c, fiber, potassium, folate, and like the shallots also has antioxidant benefits within the body! So as you enjoy this delicious unification of flavors, imagine all of your little molecular cells having a dance party and celebrating all of the beneficial stuff heading their way!
- 1/2 Lemon, Juiced
- 3/4 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/3 C White Wine Vinegar
- 2 tbsp minced shallot
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- For Salad: 2 C Fresh Arugula
- 1/2 organic apple, thinly sliced
- 1/3 c fennel, thinly sliced
- Add all ingredients for vinaigrette into a small mixing bowl and whisk until all flavors are evenly mixed together. Refrigerate for at least 20 min, allowing for garlic and shallot to release their flavors. (Oil and vinegar will naturally separate, simply mix/shake/stir dressing again before adding to salad.)
- Thinly slice the fennel and apple, then hand toss them evenly with arugula.
- When ready to serve, simply pour 1-2 tbsp of dressing to salad, toss gently.
Serve as a side to your favorite protein or highlighted on its own. Don't feel like you only have to limit yourself to the apple and fennel as ingredients! I've enjoyed this same salad with shaved carrots, heirloom tomatoes, and walnuts tossed in...when it comes to healthy veggies, the more the merrier!