Early Summer Salad with Arugula & Fennel/Anise

I went to a terrific restaurant in Cherry Hill, NJ with my good friend Rhoda for her 70th birthday present.  I ordered a simple salad of arugula, fennel, and slivered almonds. This is a variation of that salad with information on arugula and fennel/anise at the end. Enjoy!

Utensils: Salad bowl, cutting board & knife
Prep. Time: About 10 minutes
Cook. Time: None!
Categories: Vegan, Gluten-Free

Ingredients (Proportion of greens to one another is your decision; feel free to use more or less of each)

1 cup organic arugula, washed and torn into small pieces
1/2 cup thinly sliced fennel bulb
1/2-1 cup loosely packed organic spinach
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1-2 Tbl. olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt & pepper to taste

Directions

1.Wash the greens and the fennel. Dry well. If the arugula and spinach leaves are small, leave as is; otherwise tear smaller. Place in a  salad bowl.
2. Thinly slice the fennel and add to spinach and arugula in a serving bowl.
3. Add slivered almonds. Toss with the olive oil, lemon juice, salt & pepper. Serve chilled.

Serves 2

Note: I added black olives & artichoke hearts, as well as my standby mixed garden salad sprouts. Feel free to add more color with ripe tomatoes, red and yellow bell peppers, or grated carrots.

Also I did another arugula/fennel salad in 2011 with frisee, clementines & 5-spice powder. Here’s the link: http://www.menupause.info/archives/4458



Fennel and Anise

Although they share a similar taste profile—reminiscent of black licorice—fennel and anise are two different plants. The botanical name of anise is Pimpinella anisum while the botanical name of fennel is Foeniculum vulgare. Both anise and fennel belong to the Apiaceae family.

In addition to the fact that they share a similar flavor, what often creates confusion among these two plants/foods is that fennel is often referred to as anise. Since the whole plant (bulb, stalks, fronds) of fennel is consumed while it is usually just the seeds from the anise plant that are eaten, if you see a vegetable-like plant called “anise,” chances are that it is actually fennel.

There is one further complication to the anise and fennel story. Historically, several different plants have been referred to as “anise.” One version of anise you may also be familiar with is star anise (also called Chinese anise). This form of anise gets its name from the eight-pointed star that forms a pod for its seeds. The seeds from star anise provide a very similar flavor to the Pimpinella plant described above, and they are commonly consumed in China and other parts of Asia where the tree that produces them commonly grows. Star anise has its own scientific name (Illicum verum) and unlike fennel and anise, it is not a part of the Apiaceae family but rather the Illiciaceae family. (© 2001-2014 The George Mateljan Foundation, All Rights Reserved)

Arugula (Also known as Rocket)

  • With very few calories and tons of flavor it is a great green to help maintain a healthy weight without sacrificing great tasting foods!
  • Arugula is a rich source of certain phytochemicals that have been shown to combat cancer-causing elements in the body. Arugula is also a great source of folic acid and Vitamins A, C and K. As one of the best vegetable sources of Vitamin K, arugula provides a boost for bone and brain health.
  • Arugula has an array of minerals and high levels of Iron and Copper, making it a good substitute for spinach if you’re paying attention to getting more vegetable based iron in your diet.
  • Its peppery flavor provides a natural cooling effect on the body – a good food for hot weather picnics!
  • Like other leafy greens, arugula is also a hydrating food, helping keep your body hydrated in the heat of summer. (http://www.fullcircle.com/goodfoodlife)
    P.S. According to this website, Arugula makes you sexy! So go to the link above for more info.

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