Fennel chickpea salad
In the summer when the fennel comes into season, it’s good to have a couple of recipes for different ways of preparing it. This recipe for fennel chickpea salad uses raw fennel which is dressed with lemon and olive oil. The secret is shred the fennel very finely so that it is softened, almost cooked, by the lemon juice.
Fennel has a distinctive slightly sweet taste reminiscent of aniseed. It has a number of health benefits and is an excellent source of Vitamin C, fibre, folate and potassium.
Fennel is low in calories and has a high amount of fibre, very little fat and no cholesterol.
To prepare the fennel bulb, strip off the outer, tougher leaves. You can use the whole bulb including the delicate fronds which can be chopped and added to a salad or used to makevegetable stock.
There are a number of ways of cooking fennel and you can eat it raw, boiled or roast. To boil the fennel, cut the bulb into quarters or wedges and cook in boiling, salted water for 15-20 minutes. If you prefer, you can roast it in the oven and it will take about 40-50 minutes depending on the size of the pieces.
As well as in salads, fennel can be used in soups, as a vegetable in its own right or in dishes such as fennel risotto.
juice of one lemon
400g cooked chickpeas
salt and pepper
Quarter or halve the fennel bulbs, depending on how large they are and shred very finely, either by hand of using a food processor. Transfer to a bowl.
Add the chickpeas and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
Just before serving, dress with some olive oil and mix well.