Pear and Fennel Salad With Collards
A quick, healthy and easy summer salad featuring shaved ripe pears and fresh fennel with collards. The bitter greens and anise flavored fennel are balanced by a honey citrus dressing with pumpkin seeds added for additional texture.
I think everyone needs more fennel in their life. Not only is it healthy, but if prepared right can be highly tasty as well. Here I keep it simple in this pear and fennel salad recipe as the key ingredients both play well off each other while the vinaigrette accents both.
This pear and fennel salad is a simple, delicious recipe great for summertime, especially for those like my grandmother who hated “running the stove” during the Texas summers since the kitchen and adjacent rooms got super hot. Now for those with larger homes this may not be an issue, but when you are square foot challenged and absent of central AC this is a real problem. Since you’re technically not “cooking” the ingredients there is no need for a heat source.
What is the taste profile a Pear and Fennel Salad?
More importantly this pear-fennel salad is simple and healthy, and tasty. The key is choosing a sweet, ripe pear as it pairs well with the paper-thin shaved fennel and the tart citrus vinaigrette. If you’re not familiar with fennel it is highly aromatic and provides a light, crisp taste. It does have a licorice taste/finish so becomes sweet when cooked. Though this is a raw recipe, the acid from the vinaigrette really mellows out that strong anise flavor. Though it brings a lot to the table from a health and taste perspective, it is a highly slept on food item. I liken fennel to one of my favorite songs – Heatwave’s “Star of the Story”. Heatwave was a great band from the 70’s featuring incredible production by the legendary Rod Temperton who is more known for his work with Michael Jackson. Heatwave had hits like “Always and Forever”, “Boogie Nights”, and “Ain’t No Half Steppin” which my uncles listened to regularly but I didn’t discover “Star of the Story” until my high school years when I started purchasing, listening and finding my own ear. I remember thinking “why wasn’t this in my uncles’ rotations?” This in my humble opinion is their best song! So, not only should you listen to more Heatwave, but I encourage you all to make fennel more the star of your culinary and wellness story.
What are the health benefits of a Pear and Fennel Salad?
We eat it a lot in our house and it’s actually one of my wife’s favorite foods. Fennel is popular in French and Italian cuisine and similar to celery visually and texturally, but flavor wise sweeter and much more edible. Fennel is also a great source of fiber which makes it advantageous for both digestion and maintaining healthy levels of cholesterol in your bloodstream. Translation – it helps stimulate elimination of the “bad” LDL cholesterol which is a driver in heart disease and strokes. Similarly it’s high levels of potassium, which essentially helps relax the tension in your blood vessels, thereby reducing blood pressure. Why do we care about this? Because high blood pressure leads to and/or complicates many other health issues like stroke, heart health, and diabetes.
Should I Peel The Pear In This Salad Recipe?
To peel or not peel? I do not suggest peeling the pear as it is rich in vitamin C – a cancer-busting vitamin – and pectin which lowers cholesterol. Since most of these nutrients are found just below the skin it is advisable to cook and eat the with the peel on. Additionally, there are many other health benefits including heart health and anti-inflammatory properties.
What nuts work with this recipe?
I typically round out the dish with “pepitas” which are the seeds from a pumpkin. Note its the green seed that is actually inside the white shell most of us are familiar with. it’s a larger, dark green cousin of a sunflower seed kernel. Pepitas give the salad a crunch while the cheese supplies a certain level of saltiness and tartness.
Are there shortcuts to making this salad?
I use a mandoline slicer for this recipe and others where slicing vegetables and certain fruit is involved. They’re fast and efficient, but my favorite aspect is the fact that you get uniform slices. Most include settings to reach your desired level of thickness. Invest in a mandoline slicer and make quick work in the kitchen.
Pear and Fennel Salad with Collards
If you make this quick and easy Pear and Fennel Salad recipe please come back and leave me a comment below with your feedback. Definitely take a photo of the dish and be sure to tag #foodfidelity so that I can see them. You can also keep up with my food exploits as well as original recipes! You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. If you like any of the music you find on the site, visit me at Spotify to find curated monthly playlists.
Dope beats, fresh eats. Enjoy this crisp, healthy pear and fennel salad!
Crisp Pear Fennel Salad with Collards
Quick and easy summer salad featuring shaved ripe pears and fresh fennel with collards. The bitter greens and anise flavored fennel are balanced by a honey citrus dressing.
For the Salad
- 1 Ripe Bosch pear cored and sliced thinly
- 1 Large fennel bulb fronds removed
- 1 cup greens thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon Toasted nuts or seeds (pecan, pumpkin, etc.)
- 1 tablespoon Crumbled goat cheese
For the Dressing
- 1 lemon (juiced)
- 1/2 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- Thinly slice fennel into a small bowl. A mandolin is a perfect tool to get nice evenly sliced fennel and for the pears as well.
- Whisk together the dressing ingredients. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Quickly toast nuts in heated skillet
In a larger bowl, toss together the pears, greens, and fennel with the dressing.
- Serve in shallow bowls with toasted nuts and crumbled cheese
Use your greens of choice. Spinach, kale, collards are work well in this recipe