Perhaps my favorite thing about fennel is its crunch. Ditto Asian pears. A good friend of mine introduced me to Asian pears some years ago. She told me that she loved them so much, when she was in a bad car accident years before and had received an insurance settlement, the first thing she did was purchase a box of Asian pears. "They're a waterfall in your mouth," she said. "No really, that's their official slogan!"
Thus began my own infatuation with the superbly juicy and sweet Asian pear. It's right at home in this simple salad, with fennel as a supporting player. A few well-toasted walnuts are all you need to dress it up and give it some earthiness. This salad is also wonderful with seeded, chopped Meyer lemons, peel and all. —petitbleu
large bulb fennel, fronds trimmed and saved for another use
A southern girl with a globetrotting palate, I work alongside my husband John Becker to update and maintain the Joy of Cooking cookbook, website, and app. I love to bake, ferment, and preserve, and I spend an inordinate amount of time perusing farmers markets and daydreaming about chickens and goats.