cook like chef andy dombrowski: fennel salad

Funny thing – I used to dislike fennel. And I don’t really know why. Perhaps it’s the anise smell (of which I never cared for and had a bad reaction to Sambuca once and therefore developed an aversion to anything that reminded me of it). This all changed when chef Jonathon Sawyer was at Bar Cento. Remember his fennel side? I do. I’d go in just for that. And that dish is solely  responsible for the reason I love fennel today. Now I cook with it all the time and can’t get enough of it. Which led me to the fennel and orange salad at Chinato. I ordered this the second I spotted it on the menu – and have several times since. It’s absolutely amazing and you really need to try it. And now you can – anytime. Thanks to chef Andy Dombrowski, here’s the recipe for one of my favorite salads in town.

Fennel Salad

  • 2 bulbs of fennel cored and shaved thin
  • 2 oranges zested, segmented and juiced all kept separately
  • ¼ cup geta olives, pitted and chopped
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese shaved

Orange vinaigrette

  • Juice and zest from above
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 table spoon minced shallots
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1 tomato concasse (peeled, seeded and chopped)

Mix first 3 ingredients together.  Whisk in extra virgin olive oil.  Season and add tomato. Place ingredients for salad in a bowl, dress with vinaigrette and divide among four plates. Garnish with fresh ricotta and fennel fronds.

This recipe was sponsored by Heinen’s. When making this salad at home, Perry from the Shaker Heights store and Ed Thompkins, their wine buyer, suggests Ca’Tullio Pinot Grigio currently in their Bin 75 set. The retail price will be $9.99 starting on September 1 (for the rest of August it’s $7.99). It’s light, refreshing and will complement the citrus flavors. The overall fresh taste, they say, will enhance the very fresh flavor of the salad.