Up until now, salads have constituted quite an underrepresented category in my recipe index. Not because I do not regularly make or eat them, rather because I usually revert to either a classic salad/tomato/bell pepper/avocado/scallion/seeds and nuts combination splattered with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, or because I make a salad hailing from one of my cookbooks. The first option isn’t worth blogging about, as it does not require much originality to come up with this basic salad, the second would mean copying another person’s recipe onto my blog, something I’d rather don’t.
But last week I decided to rely on my own inventiveness for once, and a fennel salad is what I came up with. And when the only other person in the household besides myself who eats salads (I haven’t been able to kindle the kids’ enthusiasm for raw vegetables yet) takes seconds, thirds and even fourths, exclaiming how delicious it is, then I think it is fair to conclude that I might have come up with something that is actually worth sharing.
Fennel salad with spinach, apple, avocado & avocado dressing
For the salad
- Half a small fennel bulb, finely chopped
- 5-6 handfuls of baby spinach
- 1 apple (I used a sweet jonagold)
- Half an avocado (you’ll need the other half for the dressing)
- A handful of balsamic toasted sunflower seeds (it takes only a couple of minutes to toast them, with a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and salt. You may even add a tsp of toasted sesame for a more intense flavour)
For the dressing
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) vegan mayo, or if you don’t have that at hand, then 40 ml of olive/rapeseed/canola/sunflower oil and 20 ml soy milk (it’s important to use soy milk here, otherwise the oil-milk mixture won’t thicken into mayo)
- 1 TB apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp mustard
- 1 tsp agave syrup or another sweetener
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 tsp vadouvan, or if you don’t have this spice mixture, then just use 1 TB Italian herbs. I do highly recommend vadouvan, though.
- Half an avocado
For the salad: toss all ingredients in a salad bowl.
For the dressing:
- When using ready-made mayo: blend all ingredients with an immersion blender.
- When starting from scratch: blend all ingredients except for the avocado. After you have done that, add the avocado and blend until smooth.