For me, lemon’s transformative magic is most beautifully evident when it is squeezed on raw fennel. Raw fennel is a vegetable that I will just never like because of its underlying liquorice flavor. But the moment you pair it with a generous squeeze of lemon, the liquorice flavor disappears and fennel’s other qualities are magnified – crunchy, tasty and surprisingly juicy.
LEMON-DRENCHED FENNEL SLAW
(serves 4 as a side dish)
2 fennel bulbs (around 1 lb / 500g together)
3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (you will need 1 or 2 lemons depending on their size and how juicy they are)
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 Tbsp fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
1/2 tsp sea salt
- To prepare the fennel, first cut off the fennel stalks at the top (you can save them to flavor stocks or soups). Trim the base slightly (but not so much that the fennel separates). Cut the fennel in half lengthwise and then put the cut side of each half on the chopping board and cut it in half lengthwise again. Each fennel bulb should now be in quarters. Take a quarter and slice it across as thinly as you can. Do the same with all the other quarters of fennel.
- Place the finely sliced fennel into a bowl and add 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 4 Tbsp finely chopped parsley leaves, and 1/2 tsp sea salt. Mix well and refrigerate until ready to serve. This can be made a day in advance.