Fennel Apple Salad with Brown Butter Preserved Lemon Vinaigrette & Grilled Halloumi

Fennel Apple Salad with Brown Butter Preserved Lemon Vinaigrette & Grilled Halloumi

I always feel better after eating fennel. It has long been believed to aid in digestion – a few fennel seeds after a meal really does wonders – but there’s something more to it. It feels clean, fresh, like taking a tonic or a shot of wheatgrass. It is iconically what I think of when people say something tastes “vegetal.”

Here, fennel’s inherent freshness is boosted by the briny tang of preserved lemon and mellowed by the nutty richness of brown butter whipped into a vinaigrette that hits every note: salty, sweet, bright, acidic and velvety. Plus grilled halloumi (that’s melted cheese, people) plus sweet apples – what could be better?

Serves 2


1 bulb fennel

1 Tbs Rhea Liquid Sunshine

¼ cup good olive oil

1 small apple

2 lemons

¼ c. walnuts 

1 Tbs high quality butter 

6 slices of Halloumi (about 2 ounces)

Red pepper to taste (I like the Silk Chili Flakes from Burlap & Barrel which is botanically identical to Aleppo)

Black Pepper to taste

  1. Butcher the fennel into three piles by removing the fronds, slicing the stems, and thinly slicing the bulb.
  2. Add the sliced stems, half the olive oil, zest from one lemon, juice from one lemon, and a few dashes of chili flakes. Mix together and set aside to marinate.
  3. Thinly slice the apple and combine it with the sliced fennel bulb. 
  4. Heat the walnuts in a dry pan to gently toast, stirring frequently. Remove the walnuts and set aside.
  5. Make brown butter by allowing your pat of butter to sizzle in the pan undisturbed for ~5 minutes or until the foam dissipates, the milk solids toast, and you smell toffee, caramel and hazelnuts. 
  6. Reduce the heat. Add the slices of halloumi and cook on each side until golden. 
  7. While the halloumi is cooking, combine in a small bowl the juice of the second lemon, the rest of the olive oil, Liquid Sunshine preserved lemon crush and whisk to form a vinaigrette.
  8. Plate the halloumi. 
  9. Scrape the remaining brown butter into your vinaigrette and whisk again to mix. Coat the apples and fennel bulb in the vinaigrette. Mix in the marinated fennel stem and walnuts.
  10. Plate the salad next to the halloumi and top with cracked pepper and a bit more chili flakes to taste.

This recipe first appeared on CAP Beauty Behind Closed Doors.

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