Porcini and Fennel Salad

A simple but stunning salad. Don’t forget to make the vanilla oil ahead of time. Alternatively, you could use a bit of balsamic vinegar for dressing.

Yield 4 servings
Time 10 minutes plus time to infuse and chill
  • small container with lid
  • knife
  • bowl
  • wooden spoon
  • 1 c light olive oil
  • 3 vanilla beans
  • 1 small fennel bulb
  • 3 T lemon juice
  • 5 oz porcini mushrooms, fresh or frozen
  • 4 chives
  • salt
  • pepper
Directions Place oil in container. Split vanilla beans and scrape the seeds into the oil. Cover, shave well, and set aside to infuse (2 days to 2 weeks).

Cut fennel in half, remove core, and slice as thinly as possible. Place in bowl, add lemon juice, and toss. Clean and thinly slice the porcini, mince the chives, and add to bowl along with salt, pepper, and 8 T vanilla oil. Toss gently and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Serve chilled.

Notes If you don’t have the time or inclination to make vanilla oil, try 2 T balsamic vinegar plus 4 T olive oil for a completely different flavor.

The Modern VegetarianAdapted from The Modern Vegetarian, by Maria Elia, in which it’s called "Shaved porcini and fennel salad with vanilla oil."

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