Fennel & Apple Salad With Shallots, Toasted Pecans & Pecorino

fennel and apple salad

 You know those days where everything in your tiny little world seems to stand still for just long enough to take it all in? Those days where you just feel grateful for it all? Saturday was one of those days for me, and it was a simple day too. I woke up, met my cousin for brunch and we enjoyed some delicious poached eggs with herbs and cheese outside on a rare 60 degree day in Brooklyn. We caught up, walked around, did a little shopping, and explored neighborhoods by foot. On our walk, I received a phone call from one of my most favorite people- just to say hello and that he was thinking of me as he biked around where the wind took him on this unbelievably beautiful day. When I returned home, I felt inspired to cook something fresh and new, which put yet another smile on my face as I’ve been rather uninspired in the kitchen these past few weeks. I stopped off at the market and was drawn by some beautiful bulbs of fennel. As usual, I did a bit of googling and after finding many fennel and apple salads, I settled on my own version of a million recipes. I tossed some pecans and pecorino cheese into my basket and headed home to a plethora of shallots on my kitchen counter. I shaved the fennel, chopped the apples and shallots, toasted the pecans and shredded the pecorino. Pulling a few items from my cabinet, I tossed together an impromptu dressing and mixed it all together. With one bite, my taste buds were dancing and my  near perfect afternoon settled into a delicious evening.

1 medium bulb of fennel
1 green granny smith apple
1 medium shallot
1/2 cup toasted pecans
1/4 cup fresh shaved pecorino cheese
2 tbs grapeseed oil
2 tbs sherry vinegar
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
3 tbs honey
Pinch of salt
Cracked pepper to garnish

With a julienne peeler, peel fennel into small strands. Peel the skin off of the apple and cut the apple into thin slivers similar in size to the shaved fennel. Chop the shallot into long thin pieces. While you’re chopping, toast the pecans in a small pan over medium heat, flipping or tossing often, making sure not to burn them. Mix all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Combine fennel, apple, shallot, pecans and pecorino in a bowl and mix in dressing. Garnish with cracked pepper.

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