Fennel salad

This is so easy – just slice and bung on a plate – that I hesitate to call it a recipe. Let’s call it an assembly.

A fennel bulb has an aniseedy, aromatic taste. Its flavour is very smooth, with no hint of acid to lift it, so I like to add some lemon juice whether I’m roasting it or eating it raw. It’s a lovely, underused vegetable – try making this very quick salad next time you have a pizza. It’s a great accompaniment to tomato-rich foods.

To serve two, you’ll need:

1 fennel bulb
1 shallot
1 small handful parsley
Juice of half a lemon
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper

Slice the fennel bulb into thin rings, and arrange to cover a plate. Reserve the herby tops of the bulbs. Slice the shallot finely and separate into rings. Lay these on top of the fennel. Squeeze over the lemon juice and drizzle the olive oil over, sprinkle over salt and a generous amount of pepper, then leave at room temperature for at least half an hour for the flavours to meld. Just before serving, garnish with the reserved fennel tops and the parsley.

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