I love the fresh anise flavor of fennel and thought I would make a simple salad to go with dinner last night. This salad turned out absolutely delicious. The fresh taste of the fennel, cucumber, cilantro and spinach was a little taste of summer. The good thing about this salad is that the ingredients are available year round so you can always have a very fresh tasting green salad, even before summer hits.
1 Large Cucumber
1 Fennel Bulb
1 Handful of Cilantro, lightly chopped
½ Bunch Spinach
Salt & Pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Peel and seed the cucumber and cut into very thin slices. Next cut the fennel bulb in half, cut out the core and slice as thinly as you can, leaving the frauds. Mix together the cucumber, fennel, cilantro and spinach in a large bowl. Now drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper and mix together. If you don’t care for cilantro, you could substitute a handful of flat leaf Italian parsley.
This is what a fennel bulb looks like if you haven't used this vegetable before. The frauds look similar to dill and the some stores cut these off when putting it out on their shelves. I have also seen fennel labeled as "anise" so don't feel you picked the wrong thing if that's what it's labeled as.