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Recipe Swap: Fennel adds a wonderful crunch and mild anise flavor to salads
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Recipe Swap

Recipe Swap: Fennel adds a wonderful crunch and mild anise flavor to salads

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Fennel

Natural matches for fennel in salad include such citrus as lemon and orange, pears and apples and olives, such as in this fennel and orange salad.

Fennel is an often-overlooked vegetable that can liven up a lot of dishes. In particular, it makes delicious salads — usually taking the place of lettuce or other greens. It most often is sliced thin on a mandoline or the slicing blade of a food processor for best effect.

Fennel, a native of the Mediterranean, offers a crispy crunch reminiscent of celery and a delightfully mild licorice or anise flavor that complements a wide range of foods, especially seafood.

Local fennel is available now in farmers markets.

It often is sold with its greens, which can be used as an herb, particularly as a substitute for dill.

Raw fennel also makes a nice slaw tossed with a bit of rice-wine vinegar, salt and pepper. And it goes well with such cheeses as blue cheese and Parmesan and with such nuts as walnuts and pecans.

Natural matches for fennel in salad include such citrus as lemon and orange, pears and apples and olives. It works as a good substitute for celery. That accounts for it occasionally showing up in recipes for Thanksgiving stuffing or dressing.

Raw fennel also makes a nice slaw tossed with a bit of rice-wine vinegar, salt and pepper. And it goes well with such cheeses as blue cheese and Parmesan and with such nuts as walnuts and pecans.

The recipe below pairs fennel with orange and pine nuts, but feel free to substitute other citrus or nuts.

Send requests or recipes to Recipe Swap, c/o Michael Hastings, Food Editor, Winston-Salem Journal, 418 N. Marshall St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101; or email to mhastings@wsjournal.com. Please include name, address and a daytime telephone number. Previously published recipes are available at www.journalnow.com.

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