Fennel which is sometimes confused with Anise, is one of the ingredients in this fresh salad.
Fennel is a hardy perennial plant, that is documented as an herb, and all parts of the plant are eaten, were as with the Anise, only the seeds are used for consumption.
The fennel has yellow flowers and feathery leaves. It is a native plant to the shores of the Mediterranean.
Because of its highly aromatic smell and flavor, it has found its way, becoming naturalized in many parts of the world, especially on dry soils near the sea-coast and on riverbanks.
Fennel has found its way into culinary dishes and the medicine cabinet, as it has medicinal uses as well.
The seeds are used whole or are ground into a powder and used in many culinary dishes of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, and the Middle East.
Fennel seeds are the primary flavor component in Italian sausage.
Now for our featured recipe: Fresh Basil Raspberry and Goat Cheese Salad, and here is what you will need.
4 cups of red leaf salad, or leafy spring greens
4 cups basil, fresh
1 fennel, thinly sliced
2 cups raspberries, fresh
1 medium red onion, sliced
6 to 8 ounces goat cheese
1 cup farro or wheat berries, cooked
Raw Honey Vinaigrette
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon raw honey
Make the vinaigrette by adding vinegar, oil, and honey to a jar, cover and shake to combine, and set aside. Next take the goat cheese and shape into small balls, about 1 inch round, and set aside.
Toast cooked wheat berry in one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat until fragrant, about 5 to 8 minutes. Set aside and let cool.
Chop the basil last as it can brown after the inner parts of the leaf act with the air. It is better to tear the leaves apart, but if you act quickly, you can use a knife to cut several at a time. As shown in the image, we collected together three leaves, rolled them up and made 4 or 5 slices across the rolled basil. The process can go fast, and the basil will not brown. Make sure though, the knife you will use to cut the basil is sharp.
After building the salad take the goat cheese balls, and roll them in the toasted wheat berries and arrange them on the salad platter. Next add the raspberries, and drizzle the Raw Honey Vinaigrette over the salad. Plate and serve.
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