Fennel Salad with Bread Crumbs, Walnuts and Anchovy Vinaigrette


INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups torn country loaf bread
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Salt, to taste
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • 5 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained, finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, broken into small chunks
  • 2 fennel bulbs, thinly sliced using a mandoline, stalks thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup packed fennel fronds (optional)
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, torn
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste

METHOD:

1. Preheat the oven to 400°. On a parchment-lined sheet tray, arrange the bread pieces, toss them with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, then season with salt. Toast until the bread is deep golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven and transfer to a food processor. Pulse the bread until it is finely ground but still has some irregular pieces. Transfer the bread crumbs to a mixing bowl and set aside.

2. Place the walnuts on the sheet tray and toast until fragrant and brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove and let cool. Chop the walnuts roughly and transfer to the bowl with the bread crumbs.

3. In a small bowl, combine the anchovies, garlic and sherry vinegar. Season with salt and allow to macerate for 10 minutes before stirring in 3 tablespoons of olive oil.

4. To assemble the salad, place the fennel in a large mixing bowl. Toss the bread crumbs, walnuts and cheese with the anchovy vinaigrette before adding to the fennel. Add the white wine vinegar and lemon juice to the salad, then season with salt and toss until dressed. Add the fennel fronds, mint, chives, lemon zest and crushed red pepper flakes and toss again. Serve immediately.

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