My husband and I took a trip to DC recently and went to visit Jose Andres’ restaurant Jaleo. He is a very awarded chef and restauranteur who I’ve watched on TV over and over again – just waiting for a chance to try his food! The wait was worth it! We ordered a variety of tapas bread with tomato spread & jamon serrano, liquid olives (and Jose Andres is the one on the left narrating in English), sautéed cauliflower with dates and olives, paella, and the recipe here which is for the apple fennel salad.
I put my own twist on this dish by changing up the dressing a bit and adding arugula. I actually like this combo a bit more, but all credit goes to Jose who inspired me to try it at home. This salad is crisp, refreshing, sweet, tart — just the most perfect summer salad. The only thing that makes this situation better is that its SUPER easy while it seems difficult and advanced for a salad based on the ingredients. I mean who doesn’t love easy work while getting extra credit?! 🙂
Ingredients (for 2 larger appetizer salads)
- One fennel bulb – stems removed but keep small amount of fronds for garnish
- Two cups washed arugula – lightly packed
- 1 granny apple
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 3/4 cup diced manchego cheese
- One tbsp chopped chives
- Two tsp dijon mustard
- Two tbsp sherry
- Two tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup good quality EVOO
- 1/2 tsp salt
- One tsp fresh ground black pepper
- Dressing: In a mason jar or a container with a tight fitting lid, pour ingredients #7-#12 and shake well. Add more ingredients as you like based on test tasting. Place in fridge until ready to use.
- Slice the fennel bulb into long thin slices. For the full skinny on how to slice, use and store fennel – check out this video.
- Core and de-seed the green apple. If you need instruction on this – here is another good video.
- Take one half of the green apple, and slice the apple into long thin slices. They can almost be transparent if you can get them this thin. Using a mandolin slicer might help – but a sharp knife works just fine.
- Take the other half and dice he apple into small 1/2 inch cubes.
- Place all apple slices and dices in a bowl along with arugula, fennel, cheese and walnuts.
- Toss gently in salad dressing. Start with about 2 tbsp of dressing and then add more as you wish.
- Garnish with chives and fennel frond(s).