Shaved Fennel and Crushed Olive Salad

February 02, 2021

Shaved Fennel and Crushed Olive Salad

  • 1 cup castelvetrano (large, green) olives
  • 2 large fennel bulbs, tough outer leaves discarded, bulbs, stems, and fronds separated
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine or champagne vinegar
  • Finely grated orange zest from most of 1 orange 
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 ounces thinly shaved aged provolone cheese, or another sharp cheese, such as pecorino (about 1 cup)
  • Flaky sea salt, to finish

Crush olives with a flat-bottomed cup, the side of a chef’s knife. Coarsely chop olives so that you get big, chunky pieces and add to a medium bowl. Coarsely chop fennel fronds until you have about 1/3 cup and add to bowl. Thinly, but not paper-thin, slice fennel stems crosswise and add them too. Add oil, vinegar, orange zest, and red pepper to bowl; season with kosher salt and black pepper, then stir to evenly combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as you wish.

Halve fennel bulbs lengthwise. Using a mandolin or knife, very thinly shave fennel crosswise. Transfer fennel to a second, larger bowl. Zest one-quarter of lemon over. Juice the lemon over it — it will seem like too much but it’s just right. Season with salt and toss to coat; add more salt if needed.

To serve: Spread olive olive mixture on a big plate. Top with cheese. Arrange shaved fennel over, hiding the olives, then season with flaky sea salt. Or you can just toss all of it in a big bowl, but where is the drama in that.

Recipe by Smitten Kitchen





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