Thursday, 13 June 2013

Fennel & Parsley Salad with Tahini Dressing

Fennel.  In China we use fennel leaves in a lot of our cooking.  Fennel and scrambled eggs is a common filling in buns, dumplings and pancakes.  Fennel and scrambled eggs, and chives and scrambled eggs, these two are the vegetarian fillings you find in most places.  My sister's been a vegetarian since she was 15, I was 9.  Since then, all the dishes made at home or ordered at restaurants have been predominantly vegetarian, so much so that when it comes to Chinese dumplings, I really do prefer the vegetarian fillings over the meat ones.  The meat ones usually involve minced pork.  I'm just talking about up north in Beijing, I don't know about the rest of China, but it's always minced pork and cabbage, or minced pork and fennel leaves.  

Fennel bulbs can't be found in China, only fennel leaves.  My father loves fennel, it's one of the few vegetables he really enjoys.  He doesn't mind vegetables, and isn't the biggest fan of fruits.  If he could, he'd have nothing but tomato pasta all day long.  He's proper Southern Italian.  So this is one of the few ways in which he can enjoy his 5-a-days.  We've never actually had cooked fennel at home, it's always just cut into pieces and eaten raw like a fruit.  We don't even bother putting it in a salad. 

That's all the memories I can gather about fennel. I still have tahini at home, one of the few condiments I have in this temporary home.  Tahini and oregano?  It works.  Try using the dressing on other things too.  And as always, take the measurements with a grain of salt and adjust to your liking. 

Serves 2 as a side
1 fennel bulb
1 bunch parsley
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp tahini
1/2 tbsp oregano
1/2 tbsp olive oil

Quarter the fennel bulb and thinly slice it. 

Roughly chop the parsley leaves.

Mix all the dressing ingredients together and toss everything together.

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