Friday, January 17, 2014

Salad with fennel, blue cheese, and toasted walnuts

We often have a green salad with our meals, and it's usually my regular:  a bag of mixed greens, chopped red pepper and scallions, and maybe a sprinkle of currants, with cruets of oil and vinegar on the table for a dressing.  This is a very good salad, but we do get tired of it sometimes.  My usual option is a carrot salad, which I can usually make from what we have on hand.  But last week we were having guests over, and the main course was soup.  The rest of the meal would be just a salad and fresh bread, so I decided to look around for something more special for the salad.  I found this recipe in my much-used Simply Delicious Weightwatchers book, and it is truly wonderful!  Certainly more work than I would usually do for an every-day salad, but so good that I will not wait for guests to make it again.  I used my mandolin to get the very thin slices of fennel and red onion, but a sharp knife would do fine.

adapted from WeightWatchers Simply Delicious
6 servings

2 t. grated lemon zest (zest from one lemon)
1/3 c. fresh lemon juice (or part fresh, part frozen)
1/3 c. chicken or vegetable broth
2 T. canola or walnut oil
1 T. honey
1/2 t. freshly ground pepper

2 heads Boston or Bibb lettuce (or substitute other lettuce if you prefer)
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and very thinly sliced
1/4 c. walnut pieces, toasted (pecans would also be nice)
1/2 c. finely sliced and cut-in-strips red onion
3 oz. blue cheese, either a block or a tub of crumbles (frozen, for easier crumbling)

1.     Toast the walnut pieces.  (I put in a 350F toaster oven for about 10 minutes.)
2.     Cut out the central core of the head of lettuce.  Separate the lettuce leaves, cutting out in a V-shape any remaining white part of stem end. Wash each leaf and let dry. 
3.     Make the dressing: combine the lemon zest, juice broth, oil, honey, and pepper in a small bowl.
4.     Gently press the lettuce leaves to flatten slightly and stack about 5 leaves on each of 6 plates.  Top with the fennel, walnuts, and red onion.
5.     Take the blue cheese out of the freezer, and chop into a small crumble.

6.     Just before serving, spoon the dressing over the salads and put the blue cheese on top.


  1. Definitely sounds like it's worth making the effort!

  2. The above comment was from me!