A few weeks ago I catered a three-course plated dinner for 10 at my office. Now, I love a good dinner party, but I’d never actually done a plated dinner. My normal routine, cooking yummy food then making people serve themselves, wasn’t going to fly. Commence googling of food pics. About three hours later, I found this epic shaved fennel salad with fresh citrus that doesn’t just look pretty…it is an explosion of awesomeness in the mouth. That is not an exaggeration. With a few easy tweaks it was the perfect starter to a great meal!
Shaved Fennel and Grapefruit Salad (Serves 10 as an appetizer)
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts
- 2 large fennel bulbs, leaves and stems trimmed off
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 large ruby grapefruits
- 2 small shallots, peeled and cut into paper-thin slices
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp lime zest
- salt and pepper
- Toast nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat. Let cool. Roll the hazelnuts around in a dishcloth to loosen skins. Chop coarsely and set aside.
- Slice fennel very thinly with a sharp knife or on a mandolin. Toss in a bowl with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
- Supreme grapefruits, holding over a small bowl to collect juice. Add grapefruit segments and 1/2 of juice to the bowl of fennel.
- Add shallots, olive oil, and lime zest. Toss lightly and portion onto plates. Sprinkle nuts around the edge of the plate and serve.