Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Fennel, Avocado and Mint Salad with Pistachio Caper Dressing

Are you trapped in the heatwave that is the southeast this summer?  Or is it this hot everywhere?  It's brutal here and all I can think of is salad!  Try this crunchy, zesty one for a complete change of taste!


  • 3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice (about 1 1/2 lemons)
  • Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Heaping 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup drained capers in brine, minced
  • 1/2 cup pistachio oil, or other nutty oil such as pumpkinseed
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup minced red onion (about 1/2 small onion)
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, halved lengthwise, cored, and very thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 medium ripe Hass avocados
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves, chopped


  1. Place sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl. Bring a small pot of water to a boil and pour over the tomatoes so that they are completely submerged. Allow to soak for 1 hour, then drain and slice into 1/8-inch-thick strips.
  2. To make the pistachio-caper vinaigrette, combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, pepper, and capers in a small bowl. Slowly add the pistachio oil and olive oil, pouring them in a thin stream while whisking constantly to emulsify them. Stir in the onion.
  3. Combine the sliced fennel and sun-dried tomato slices in a mixing bowl, and toss with the pistachio-caper vinaigrette.
  4. Halve the avocados lengthwise and remove the pits. Peel each half and place it cut-side down on the cutting board. Slice the avocados into very thin, lengthwise strips.
  5. If you’re pressed for time, you can toss all the ingredients together and serve in a salad bowl. For a prettier presentation, layer the avocado slices in a medium bowl, followed by a layer of the fennel salad mixture, and finally some of the fresh herbs. Repeat until all ingredients are stacked in the bowl, ending with a layer of fennel and herbs, about 4 layers of each ingredient total.
  6. Let salad sit for half an hour at room temperature to allow the flavors to combine, then scoop onto plates.


  1. I would love a salad like that for lunch. It's hot and humid where I'm at. The flavors in that dish must be amazing.

  2. Yep, as a fellow southeaster, I can completely concur with the brutal summer weather we're having. This salad looks like the perfect cure!

  3. Give it a try, it's really different!

  4. I've never tried capers! This sounds really good though!


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