In a Crunch Celery Fennel Slaw with Ginger over a Bed of Arugula

By • March 14, 2012 • 4 Comments



Author Notes: Celery? Really? Beyond its essential role stirring a Bloody Mary, serving as a dip stick on plate of crudités or adding crunch to tuna, celery is the vegetable I generally leave out of recipes.

In contrast, fennel, that licorice-flavored cousin of celery, is among my favorite staples. I’ve never thought to put the two together. Until now. So here they are in a natural pairing with accents of ginger and anise seed. In this recipe I’ve added a hint of fennel pollen, (my secret-power ingredient for summer salsas and salads) combined with the natural sweetness of meyer lemon juice and the earthy, nutty flavors of asparagus, arugula and pistachio. Results? Well, taste for yourself.
Vivian Henoch

Serves 4

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 3 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fennel pollen
  • 1 teaspoon anise seeds
  • 3 to 4 celery stalks, thinly sliced diagonally
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed celery leaves
  • 1 large fennel bulb
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds
  • 3 cups baby arugula
  • 4 stalks asparagus, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons pistachio nuts (optional)
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1 medium shallot, chopped fine (optional)
  1. Using a food processor, whisk together first 7 ingredients.
  2. In a saute pan, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil, add sesame seeds and asparagus. Flash-cook until asparagus turns bright green (about 1 minute).
  3. In a medium bowl, combine thinly sliced fennel and celery, chopped fennel fronds and celery leaves. Toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. To assemble: spoon fennel and celery slaw over a bed of arugula. Top with asparagus and sesame seed mixture. Add pistachios. Garnish with avocado slices.
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over 2 years ago Vivian Henoch

Thank you for your comments. After all was said and done, photographed (and eaten) it occurred to me that it might have been an interesting angle to compose the salad with all members of the celery family, including carrots and parsley and caraway...the salad as I made it has a nice refreshing snap, pairing well with the buttery texture of avocado.

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over 2 years ago LE BEC FIN

nice job with this! i agree that anise and celery have a certain affinity (i've been playing with star anise in a number of my contest entries.) I love your focus on textures and complementary flavors!

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over 2 years ago EmilyC

This looks and sounds like a delicious, refreshing salad. I like the addition of avocado...I'll bet it pairs well with the celery and fennel.

Christine-28_small(1)

over 2 years ago cheese1227

Looks like we think alike. Nice touch on the fennel pollen. I have still yet to find that here in Central PA!