Fennel, pickled onion and pear salad

fennel salad

Oh come on, seriously? A salad? Another fennel salad in the deep dark depths of winter. It seems I have a thing for dreaming up raw fennel/fruit combinations during the coldest shortest weeks of the year, though I assure you that this is not crazy at all, uh huh.  

Good, glad we got that sorted out, because this salad takes the best of winter, heavy bulbs of crisp fennel and drippingly ripe pears. Mix them with some homemade pickled onions and serve alongside a slow braise with smooth mashed potatoes, or a vinegared chicken stew with polenta (coming soon!) as I did. This salad provides an interesting and crisp interlude during the season of silky, soft, liquid and gelatinous. Not crazy at all.

fennel salad

Fennel, pickled onion and pear salad
Adapted from an ancient gourmet traveller recipe.

250ml apple cider vinegar
100g caster sugar
1t fennel seeds
1 bunch (about 6-8) spring onions, trimmed
1 medium sized fennel bulb, preferably with lots of fronds attached
2 pears, I used pakham (sp?)
2T extra virgin olive oil.

For pickled onion:
Trim spring onions (these are the ones with bulbs at the bottom), and cut into halves or quarters lengthways. Combine vinegar, sugar and fennel seeds in a pan and heat until sugar has dissolved then remove from heat. If you want your onions softer, add them now, though they will go a little brown. Otherwise, cool to room temperature and then add onions. Let sit for at least 3 hours for the flavours to develop.

For the salad:
Thinly slice fennel and pears and toss together with the drained onions. Dress with the olive oil and a little of the pickling liquid. Serve immediately.

This work, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.


  1. Posted July 2, 2009 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Mmm, sweet and sour. I must say the pear sounds like the best part!

    Arwen from Hoglet K’s last blog post..The Apprentice Restaurant

  2. Posted July 2, 2009 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    This sounds great! I have some pickled ramps and fennel in the fridge, so this is going to be my lunch tomorrow.

    Marc @ NoRecipes’s last blog post..Niçoise Salad

  3. pmum
    Posted July 6, 2009 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    eating fennel in
    my flannels

  4. Posted July 19, 2009 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Arwen from Hoglet K: The combination is the best part for me :)

    Marc @ NoRecipes: Wonderful! I hope you enjoyed it. I wish that we had ramps in Australia, I’m besotted with the idea of them.

    pmum: Well winter is the season for them!

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  1. […] cosiness that the cold produces, as well as the produce. With the loss of shorts weather we gain fennel, brussels sprouts, quince and rhubarb. Another great thing about winter? Puddings, sticky date, […]

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