Sunday, July 1, 2012

Shaved Fennel Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette. Ya, I Said "Salad." Come On, YOLO.

YOLO. Pretty sure it means "You Only Live Once," but with these internet things, you never know. I look at food pictures on Pinterest, which is a great place for ideas, but I also see a lot of YOLOs, "Call me later, maybe?"s, "I can has cheeseburgers," "Hey Girl..."s, "Keep Calm..."s, E-Cards and what not, and 99.9 % of it means absolutely nothing to me. The generational gap prevents me from trying to keep up with that kind of stuff, because I'm pretty sure that if I thought too hard about whatever the heck a "Meme" is, a wormhole would be created, and the world would end in fire. However, YOLO has struck a chord with me. Not because the stuff on Pinterest that uses it is funny, because it certainly isn't. It just sounds good to say. YOLO. Sure, it's just carpe diem for a generation who have never turned the corner of a page down in a book, but it still is a fun concept. YOLO. Since I discovered its meaning (thanks, Google), I have been saying it out loud in my mind at the end of almost every mental sentence (Mentance? YES. New word created. I'm Pinning it...).

Tonight, when sorting through my recent recipes to decide what to write about, I was all "Oooh, this salad was boss! and awesome!" (Bossome? YES. New word #2). Then I was like "Wait a minute, stupid. You can't write about a salad. You are the Meat Guy." (not a stage name). Then I totally came back with "Get up off me, Inner Monologue. I made a killer salad, and I'm writing it up. YO-Friggin-LO."

And there you have it....

Lots of people have never cooked with fennel at home, because it's one of those weird things at the store that you always see but never buy. Plus it smells like licorice, which is nasty. However, fennel is an extremely versatile ingredient that adds subtle complexity and great flavor to lots of dishes. I am a total fennel convert, and it really makes a great salad. I found this recipe online, changed it slightly to my taste,  and paired it with my own bacon vinaigrette, and it is a new staple at our house.

Shaved Fennel Salad with Bacon Shallot Vinaigrette


  • 1 medium-large zucchini, sliced paper thin
  • 2 small fennel bulbs, trimmed and shaved paper-thin
  • 2/3 cup loosely chopped fresh dill
  • 1 bag arugula
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled     
  • sprinkle of sunflower seeds                           

    • For Bacon Vinaigrette

      • 3 strips bacon, cut into small pieces
      • 1 small shallot, finely diced
      • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
      • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
      • 1 tbsp honey

    • For Fennel Salad

      1. Adapted from
      2. In a bowl, marinate fennel, zucchini and dill in vinaigrette for 20 minutes. Place arugula on plate dry, top with fennel mixture, then top that with feta, sunflower seeds and bacon bits
    • For Bacon Vinaigrette

      1. In a skillet, brown bacon pieces, then remove onto a paper towel. In the bacon fat, cook shallot over medium low heat for 5 minutes, or until soft and brownish. Place shallots on towel with the bacon. Allow bacon fat to cool, then mix rendered fat, vinegar, mustard  and honey with a whisk until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.  Add bacon and shallots to dressing and mix thoroughly. Add small amount of olive oil if needed.

    This also goes great with a fried squash blossom on top. We did this for THE DINNER, and it added just one more level of awesomeness.

    So there you go. I posted a practically meat free salad. YOLO, my friends.

    1 comment:

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