Radish and Fennel Salad

It’s Monday morning and I have lots of things to do this week. I feel the weight building up and the panic setting in. I generally do not panic about anything. If I have to work faster, I just work faster. Fortunately for me, I am so lazy that I have to work fast because I can’t stand drawing anything out.

My lovely wife also has a busy week preparing for a really big trip this coming weekend, so I need to do everything that I can to help her not panic. Generally, there is panic in the air. I can’t really take any of her work off of her plate but I can put food on it. My plan for the week is to work hard, and plan meals carefully so they take the minimum of time, are healthy and satisfy the harried wife and the kids.

I had a friend ask the other day about how I was able to work all day then come home and cook dinner. If you are asking (or telling) yourself: “How could I possibly have time to go to the store and come home and cook?” You have already answered your own question. The negatively phrased question implies that you have already resigned yourself to NOT making the effort. You have found your excuse and are sticking to it. So the real answer to this question is in the question itself. How about trying this one instead: “I really want to make an effort to cook at home this week. What can I do to make this happen?”

There is sometimes a time crunch, or a scheduling problem, or any number of other obstacles in the way of eating well. That is the reality of life. So the key is to take a tiny bit of time to make a plan and then make a concerted effort to stick to that plan until you can’t. And when you can’t, be flexible enough to enjoy a take away pizza or some tacos from the corner.

When I stand in the produce section and look around I am often confused. I see the preparation and the combinations in my head and hear the clock ticking. On top of that, I don’t want to bore anyone with the same old thing, I want to buy things that are fresh, inexpensive, hopefully organic and if at all possible, local. Did I mention “in season”. So this is really what takes the time, all of the pacing back and forth in the produce section. Had I only planned!

Tonight I am going to make this little salad. We always have arugula salad. Sometimes we add fennel. Tonight I am going out on a limb. I once saw Jamie Oliver do a variation of this and it looked good.

Ingredients

  • 1 Bunch of Radishes
  • 1 Fennel Bulb
  • 2 Handfuls Arugula
  • Lemon
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Tools

  • Chef’s Knife
  • Salad Bowl
  1. Wash the fennel and radishes really well and pat dry.
  2. Cut the leaves off of the radishes and reserve.
  3. Trim down to near the end of the stems and cut the tips off.
  4. Slice lengthwise, including a little of the stem end.
  5. Trim the end off of the fennel. Reserve the little, wispy fronds.
  6. Remove the outer layer and cut off the hard end.
  7. Slice very thinly vertically, or use a mandolin.
  8. Chop the radish leaves and the fronds.
  9. Toss all together with the arugula.
  10. Salt and pepper.
  11. Dress with a little olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.

You can also make this without the arugula.

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