I found this recipe in Jamie Oliver’s The Naked Chef, which was his first book – and he looks so young in all the photos! The only variation I have made here is in using a white balsamic vinegar in the dressing for more sweetness than a standard vinaigrette (but without the dark colour of normal balsamic).
The top tip for this salad is to place all the ingredients into icy water as they are cut, then chill for 15 minutes before drying off and serving. The aniseed smell of the fennel is pretty overwhelming when handling the bulbs, but it seems to dissipate once chilled and dressed. The pepperiness of the radish also seems to calm down as it is eaten here in very thin slices.
Radish and Fennel salad a great little side dish to go with barbecued fish fillets, or pork cutlets. The colours are really fresh and it is simple to prepare.
2 bulbs Fennel
5 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 tablespoons White Balsamic Vinegar
Before starting the slicing, place a glass or ceramic bowl half filled with cold water into the freezer
Remove the tops and base of the fennel, and outer layers if they are tough or damaged. Retain a few sprigs of the fennel ferny greens.
Slice top to bottom into halves, then cut into thin slices using a mandolin. Place into the cold water bowl, and keep in the fridge while working.
Remove the tops and root stems from the radish bulbs. Retain a few of the very small inner leaves from the tops. Put these little leaves into the cold water also.
Slice thinly using a knife or mandolin and place into the cold water with the fennel.
Allow the vegetables to chill in the cold water for 15 minutes.
Tip the fennel and radish into a colander, shake to remove excess water then place onto a clean tea towel to pat dry. Or use a salad spinner if you have one.
Measure out and whisk together the oil and white balsamic vinegar, adjust to taste.
Tip onto a flat bowl or platter, and mix through the dressing.
Add sprigs of fennel and radish leaves to decorate.