Saturday, January 24, 2009

Fennel, the wonder vegetable

Tonight we had one of our favorite salads again. We did use bacon instead of pancetta because it was handy and it was alright, but we really prefer the pancetta. We love fennel, raw or cooked and this salad is often found at our house. We first saw Giada De Laurentiis make this on Food TV and we have found that almost everything she cooks is a favorite of ours. Try the fennel if you have not done so yet. I think you will find it delightful. And, of course, a Cotes du Rhone is never bad...

Caramelized Pancetta and Fennel Salad
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis
Prep Time:
15 min
Inactive Prep Time:
5 min
Cook Time:
10 min
4 servings

1 bulb fennel, halved and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
5 slices pancetta
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 ounces (about 6 to 7 cups) mixed salad greens
Red Wine Vinaigrette, recipe follows
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, toss together fennel, pancetta, garlic, brown sugar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place the ingredients on the baking sheet in a single layer. Cook until the pancetta is crisp and the fennel is caramelized, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, place the salad greens, crumbled pancetta, and caramelized fennel. Toss the salad with the Red Wine Vinaigrette and serve immediately.
Red Wine Vinaigrette:
2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Mix the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper in a blender. With the machine running gradually blend in the oil. Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with more salt and pepper, if desired.
Yield: scant 1/2 cup
Prep Time: 5 minutes


  1. Susan, your salad looks wonderful. I love fennel...roasted, braised or raw. I have a fennel soup that I'll be posting soon. Thanks for this recipe.....Mary

  2. THAT does look delish!
    I never seem to get around to cooking my fennel...I munch away on the raw bulb and then it's gone..must try some restraint!