Green apple goes really well with lime and the aniseedy flavour of fennel. Chervil is a herb less often used, but its slight anise taste makes it the perfect herb for this salad.
This side dish is zingy and refreshing, and goes perfectly with my Oysters Three Ways recipe. It is 5 ingredients and only 7-10 minutes’ preparation.
Serves: 2 – 3 as an accompaniment
- 2 tablespoons white sugar (granulated or caster are both fine)
- 2 limes, finely grated zest of one, and juice of both
- 1 medium fennel bulb
- 1 medium green eating apple (Granny Smith is perfect)
- A handful of fresh chervil leaves (no stalks)
- A small saucepan
- A citrus fruit juicer
- A fine grater
- A vegetable peeler
- A chopping board and sharp knife
- A small bowl
- Put the lime zest and juice with the sugar into a small saucepan on a high heat. Swirl/stir until the sugar is fully dissolved, then take off the heat to cool slightly.
- Shave the outer layer of the fennel bulb, then slice it in half lengthways. Slice the larger outer layers of the halves very finely across, to get thin strips.
- Top and tail the apple, then stand it up and slice it lengthways all around (avoiding the core), and slice again until you have matchsticks.
- Put the fennel and apple into a small bowl, then pour the syrup over.
- Chop the chervil leaves finely, add to the bowl, and give it several good stirs. If not serving immediately, put the bowl into the fridge.
Depending on what you’ll serve this salad with, you might not need any seasoning and/or other herbs and spices. It has sour (lime juice) and sugar already, so you have 2 of the Thai flavours for perfect balance. If serving with something salty you won’t need additional salt, and if there’s chilli (hot) in your accompanying dish, you won’t need to add pepper either.
Other herbs that work with fennel are basil, parsley, thyme, and of course the wispy fronds of the fennel bulb itself.