Fennel is an amazing vegetable, in that it seems possible to grow it almost all year round. On my allotment, along with the chard, it is one of the few vegetables I seem to have success with in summer and winter alike. However, with it’s beautiful, fresh shade of palest green, it always makes me think of spring. I like to embrace the spring theme, by adding it to a salad with lots of zesty lemon and peppery rocket. This would make a great salad to accompany a barbeque although you may have to wait a few more weeks to enjoy that!
Fennel Salad with Giant Cous Cous and Preserved Lemon
Serves 2 as a starter or 4 as a side.
1 head of fennel
100g giant cous cous (or normal cous cous)
Juice from half a lemon
A couple of preserved lemons
Handful of Rocket
Put the cous cous in a pan and cover with water. Add a large pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 5 minutes until the coux cous in tender and not at all chalky. Drain and leave to cool for a little. Meanwhile, very thinly slice the fennel. A mandolin is good for this. Mix the lemon juice with some salt and extra virgin olive oil until you have a delicious dressing. You need to get the balance just right so keep on tasting as you add the oil. You will need about 100mls. Add a little of this dressing to the cous cous and put the fennel in the rest. Mix well. Finley chop the preserved lemons, removing any seeds and add to the cous cous. Taste and add a little juice from the jar of preserved lemon to taste. Arrange the rocket on a large plate and scatter with the cous cous. Finally, top with the fennel and drizzle any remaining dressing over the leaves.