Monday, February 08, 2010

Feeling Retro

Retro Radish and Fennel Salad

I have an affinity for all things retro. There's something about the bold colors, organic shapes and funky patterned fabrics that just speaks to me. Or maybe it's the era that I'm drawn to. Some of the best things came out of the 50's, 60's and 70's: the music (oh, the music), civil rights, Eames chairs and deviled eggs to name but a few. Don't get the wrong idea though, I'm definitely not obsessed with recapturing that period in my own life. You won't find my house filled with egg chairs, lava lamps and shag rugs. And I don't practice free love. What you will find however, is that every so often, retro style will make an appearance on my dining table. Usually, it's unintentional.

I was introduced to a version of this simple salad years ago by a family friend. Raw fennel was thinly sliced, sprinkled with salt and pepper, then drizzled with fruity olive oil and lemon juice. It was probably the first time I had tasted raw fennel, and it changed my life. Ok, that's probably a bit dramatic. Let's just say that it introduced me to a wonderful new flavor-profile that up until then, had been missing from my life. So yeah, life-changing is fitting! When served raw, fennel is sweet and herbal, with a light anise note and a wonderful crunch. It pairs magnificently with fish, but also helps to cut through heavier meats and pastas too. Over the years I began to add thinly sliced radish to the mix, which I find adds the perfect peppery accent to the sweetness of the fennel, as well as a welcome dash of color. While this salad looks lovely tossed together in a bowl, I prefer the retro feel that's created when it's layered on a platter. I find there's something inescapably retro about radishes, especially when sliced. You may be wondering how something so simple could be so illuminating. I can only urge you to make it now. You never know, it may just change your life too. 


Retro Radish and Fennel Salad
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced cross-wise (reserve the fennel fronds for garnish)
  • 5-8 radishes, thinly sliced cross-wise
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2-3 tbs good-quality olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
On a flat platter, place the fennel slices in an even layer. Season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with half of the lemon juice and olive oil. Next, place the radish slices on top of the fennel, creating any patter you desire. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle the remaining lemon juice and olive oil evenly over the top. Garnish with finely chopped fennel fronds and leave to rest at room temperature at least 15 minutes prior to serving.
Alternatively, toss all ingredients together in a bowl and season to taste.

33 comments:

Tina said...

I love Radish. A great salad recipe!

Alisa said...

It looks delicious!I'm going to make this real soon :)

dolly said...

It look yummy......
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モバゲー said...

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モバゲー said...

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モバゲー said...

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モバゲー said...

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モバゲー said...

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モバゲー said...

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モバゲー said...

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モバゲー said...

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モバゲー said...

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