This pear fennel salad is one of my stand by favorites that can be made in a matter of minutes. It’s made with just a handful of ingredients: fennel, pear, mint, and red onion, then tossed with a simple lemony sumac vinaigrette. Fennel’s faint licorice flavor and crisp texture is the perfect complement with pear. And because this dish has such simple and fresh tasting flavors, it’s an any occasion sort of salad, that I even serve with Sunday brunch. And other times, I make a simplified version with just fennel, pear, a squeeze of lemon and lime juice, a little olive oil and salt and pepper. Which is perfect when you feel like you need something light, bright and fresh alongside all the warm fall and winter dishes.
Pear Fennel Salad – a match made in heaven!
So if you are looking for a fresh tasting, quick and easy salad to make a meal complete, this simple pear fennel salad is all you need. I find the combination of crisp fennel and sweet pear so delightfully refreshing and delicious — so much so that I’ll sometimes eat just a big bowl full of this salad and call it lunch. Grab a loaf of ciabatta, and a plate with a little olive oil and sprinkling of fleur de sel for dipping your bread and you have a perfectly delicious and satisfying Mediterranean meal.
Pear Fennel Salad with Sumac and Mint
- 2 medium fennel bulbs, quartered, cored and thinly sliced
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 1 large firm but ripe pear, peeled, quartered and thinly sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon sumac, plus more to garnish
- 3 tablespoons freshly chopped mint
- 3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- Freshly squeezed juice from 1/2 a lemon
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
In a medium bowl, combine all the salad ingredients together, season with a little salt and pepper and toss to combine. Sprinkle with a little extra sumac and serve.
That’s it! Enjoy!
I like to use Italian Abate Fetel pears for this recipe. Bartlett pears are also nice, since they have a smooth texture making them perfect for salads. A good check to see if the pear is ripe enough is gently squeeze it in the area around the stem. It shouldn’t be rock hard, but rather give a little.
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