Versatile Shaved Salads
“You have got to try their shaved salad!” my friend exclaimed. She was recommending one of Charlottesville’s new trendy restaurants.
Shaved salads are replacing ever-popular slaws and tossed greens on more and more menus. Choose whatever vegetables lend themselves to a shave. I used a mandoline, but the slicing blade of a food processor or a sharp knife will work just as well. You may welcome this new trend as an opportunity to savor the last of those prolific zucchini that still cling to the vine.
For the salad pictured here, I paired fennel and Brussels sprouts with green apple and a few currants to add a little sweetness. Sprinkled with sliced almonds, this raw, crunchy side dish made the perfect accompaniment to a light supper of grilled salmon and roasted new potatoes.
While a squirt of lemon juice and a little olive oil may suffice, I whisked together the following dressing and lightly tossed it over the shaved fennel (1 bulb) and sprouts (1/3 pound, dark bitter outer leaves removed) just before serving:
2 tsp. Dijon mustard 3 Tbs. cider vinegar
1 shallot, minced juice and zest of ½ lemon
1 tbs honey 4 Tbs. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
For variety, try one of the following combinations with shaved fennel and sprouts:
- Capers and chopped hard-boiled egg
- Orange slices, black olives, and mint
- Pancetta or crumbled bacon with shaved Parmesan
- Hazelnuts or pine nuts with feta cheese