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Grana Padano Cheese, Apple & Fennel Salad

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This light and refreshing apple and fennel salad topped with Grana Padano cheese is from Canadian Chef Victor Barry.

Ingredients

For the salad:
  2 heads of fennel
  1 Granny smith apple
  ½ cup of ground
      Grana Padano cheese 
  ¼ bunch of chopped chives
   1 cup of fennel tops
      (just the greens)
   1 piece of lemon, zested

For the lemon thyme dressing: 
  ½ pieces of shallots (2 tbsp)
  ½ tbsp of honey 
   3 sprigs of thyme
   ½ cup of lemon juice
    1 tsp of Dijon mustard
    2 tbsp of white wine vinegar 
    1 piece of lemon zested 
    ¼ tbsp of ground black pepper
  1 ½ cup of olive oil 
       1 tsp of salt

For the candied sunflower seeds:
   1 cup of sunflower seeds
   1 tbsp of olive oil
   2 tbsp of honey 
  ¼ tsp of salt

Directions

Make the salad:

Shave the fennel with a mandolin or sliced as fine as possible. Cut the apple into 4 pieces and slice them all. Pick the tops of the fennel.

 

Make the salad dressing:

Macerate the shallots with thyme, salt, and black pepper for about 10 minutes. Split the recipe in two and blend everything together in a blender.

 

Make the candied sunflower seeds:

Preheat the oven to 325F. Mix everything together in a bowl. Pour everything on a tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the seeds turn a golden-brown colour and be sure to mix the seeds a couple of times while baking for a more even colour.

 

Remove from the oven and allow to cool. When the seeds have completely cooled, break them up a bit leaving small chunks.

To plate:

Toss the fennel with some of the vinaigrette and sunflower seeds. Place in a bowl. Scatter the apples, fennel tops, and some more sunflower seeds. Zest a little lemon on top, sprinkle.

 

Makes 6 servings.