Here is a crisp autumn salad, perfect for a chilly night. During the cooler months you can almost always find fennel and pears at any grocery store, making this salad a quick first course or side dish option even during the dead of winter. I love the deep, rusty color of red d’anjou pears but you can easily substitute apples, instead.
Keep a few of the green fronds from the fennel to serve over the top of the salad. They add gorgeous color and also another layer of delicious fennel flavor. The sweetness of the Candied Maple Pecans balances the tart cider vinegar dressing.
Fennel, Pear and Candied Pecan Salad
3 bulbs fennel, green fronds trimmed and reserved
3 ripe pears, cores and stems removed
6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Freshly ground black pepper
Candied Maple Pecans
Trim the bottom of the fennel and cut each bulb into quarters, removing the cores. Using a mandoline or very sharp knife, thinly slice the fennel and pears.
In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar and olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Add the fennel and pears and gently toss to evenly coat. Taste salad for seasoning and adjust as you see fit. Transfer the salad to a serving platter. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, if desired, and top with Candied Maple Pecans and a few fennel fronds.
Enjoy this Fennel, Pear and Candied Pecan Salad as part of our Harvest Soup and Salad Evening.