When I was in Iowa last month, my three sisters also were in town for a visit. Mary, who resides in Seattle, raved about a unique and delicious Fennel and Gorgonzola Salad. She also makes a version replacing half the fennel with fresh pears in the fall. I was dubious as I find the sharp anise flavor of fresh fennel a bit off putting. But a simple lemon vinaigrette mellowed the intensity to perfection…it was incredible.
Of course, when you’re making dinner with 4 gabbing siblings in the kitchen, exact amounts of ingredients aren’t exactly calculated. I think there may have been some wine involved, too. When I made my vinaigrette with equal parts olive oil and lemon juice, I found it a bit too tart, so just drizzled a little more olive oil over the salad. These are just guidelines…adjust the quantities according to your taste. Adding walnuts would be great for some crunch or even craisins for an additional texture and a pop of color would be lovely as well. We also grilled Steak de Burgo, a traditional Iowa recipe for beef tenderloin steaks topped with garlic butter and herbs. Our dad enjoyed every morsel.
Fennel and Gorgonzola Salad
- 2 heads fennel, sliced very thinnly
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 6–8 ounces crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
- 1/2 + lemon, juiced
- Extra virgin olive oil, just slightly more than quantity of lemon juice
- Coarse sea salt, to taste
- Spring salad greens, optional
- Combine fennel, onions and Gorgonzola. Mix lemon juice and olive oil and add to salad. Toss, and adjust dressing as needed. Sprinkled with coarse sea salt to serve.
- You may add spring mix to extend salad.