It's not often you hear the word crunchy when referring to a salad. But doesn't that sound good? This salad not only packs some crunch, but these simple, seasonal ingredients offer such a pleasing flavor when combined together.
My husband is not much of a salad eater. On occasion, he refers to salad as rabbit food. That is probably one of only a few things we feel differently about. On the contrary, I am a huge salad person. For me, a meal isn't complete without some sort of leafy greens going on. But when my husband tried this salad, he actually went back for seconds and declared his love for this crunchy combination. Folks, we have a winner in the salad category!
On our recent trip to Japan, we devoured some delectable Asian pears. They have a slightly different texture (in my opinion), than other pears more commonly eaten in the U.S. Honestly, their texture almost reminds me of a firm watermelon in the fact that they seem to have a higher water content than other pears. They are firm, crisp, and mildly sweet. Those qualities are what makes these pears a perfect ingredient. It's truly a nice balance when you combine them with the cabbage and fennel. Then, throw in some hazelnuts to add a final touch, which create some crunch with every bite! Nom nom!!!
Delicious fruit we admired in Japan:
The salad dressing is simple, yet flavorful, again adding the perfect amount of taste without overpowering the salad. I recommend tossing the salad with half of the dressing to start, and add more from there if needed. Another bonus is this salad offers some amazing digestive benefits as the pears, fennel, and cabbage are all known as digestive powerhouses! So if you happen to live with non-salad lovers, give this salad a try and perhaps they will change their perspective on salads too! They aren't always rabbit food! And I think it foes without saying that if you are a fan of salads, you are really going to love this one.
2 fennel bulbs, washed, thinly sliced, fronds reserved for garnish
1 Asian pear, cored, 1/4 inch slices (skin on or off- your preference)
2 cups shredded green cabbage
1/2 cup roasted hazelnuts, chopped
Maple Ginger Dressing:
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1 tsp ginger juice (squeezed from fresh ginger pulp)
3 Tbs olive oil
1. For the dressing- grate a 2 inch piece of ginger and squeeze the pulp to release the juice into a jar. Add the rest of the dressing ingredients in with the ginger juice. Place the lid on tightly and shake the ingredients until mixed well. Set aside.
2. Slice the fennel, pear, and cabbage accordingly and place them into a medium sized bowl. Add the chopped hazelnuts. Then toss the salad with half of the dressing. Give it a taste and add more dressing if needed. Garnish with fennel fronds and serve.