Apple and Fennel Slaw

March 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

Between working, running and spending time with my husband, I don’t have a lot of time during the week to fix dishes that take a tad more effort. But the weekend is another story. I like to save dishes such as this Apple and Fennel Slaw for when I’m not feeling rushed and I can take my time prepping the ingredients to create something lovely.

This slaw is crunchy, light and refreshing – a perfect complement to a meal. The sweetness of the apples is a nice contrast to the slight licorice/anise flavor of the fennel and the creaminess of the dressing pulls it all together.

1/2 head green cabbage
Ice water as needed
1 lemon, halved
2 fennel bulbs
2 Granny Smith apples
1/4 cup mayonnaise
4 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon milk, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 green onions, including tender green parts, thinly sliced
1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

Using a sharp knife, cut the cabbage in half through the stem end. Using a mandoline (or very sharp knife), slice the cut face of one half into thin slices. Place the sliced cabbage in a large bowl and add ice water to cover. Set aside.

Fill another large bowl with ice water and squeeze the juice of 1/2 lemon into it. Fill a large saucepan three-fourths full of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the juice of the remaining lemon half to the boiling water.

Cut off the stems of the fennel bulbs and remove any bruised or discolored outer leaves. Working with 1 fennel bulb at a time, cut the bulb in half lengthwise and cut out any tough core parts. Using the small julienne blade of the mandoline, slice each half and place immediately in the bowl of lemon water. Repeat with the remaining fennel bulb. Once the fennel is all cut, transfer with a slotted spoon to the boiling water and blanch for 30 seconds. (Reserve the bowl of water and lemon for the apples.) Drain the blanched fennel and rinse well under cold running water. Transfer to a fresh bowl of ice water and set aside.

Working with 1 apple at a time, quarter it and cut away the core. Starting with the rounded side, slice each quarter on the mandoline and place immediately in the reserved lemon water. Repeat with the remaining apple.

In another bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sugar, lemon juice, vinegar, milk and the salt. Whisk to combine. The dressing should be both sweet and tangy, and the consistency should be pourable, not thick. If it’s too thick, add a little more milk. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.

Drain the cabbage, pat dry and place in a large bowl. Drain the fennel, squeeze gently to remove excess water, pat dry and add to the bowl of cabbage. Drain the apples, pat dry and add to the bowl. Add the green onions and parsley. Pour the dressing in and toss to coat well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. (It’s best to refrigerate for at least a couple of hours or overnight to let the flavors soak in.)

Recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma


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