Vegan fennel salad with walnut dressing
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- 120 g / 1 cup walnuts
- 4 tbsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, fresh or roasted (for a mellower taste)
- 2 tbsp walnut oil or extra virgin olive oil (SEE METHOD for an oil-free alternative)
- 2 tsp wholegrain mustard, adjust to taste
- 1 tsp maple syrup, adjust to taste
- salt, to taste
- 1 medium fennel bulb
- 4 celery ribs
- 10 radishes
- 50 g / 2 oz baby rocket / arugula
- ¼ red onion, sliced finely, fresh or pickled*
- fresh parsley
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Toast the walnuts on a hot pan, stirring them frequently as they burn easily. Alternatively, you could toast them in the oven at 180° C / 355° F for about 8 minutes – keep on checking on them towards the end of the baking time as they can go from toasted to burnt extremely quickly. Allow them to cool down.
- Place ¾ of the walnuts in a food processor (save the rest for sprinkling on top of the salad) and process until smooth with lemon juice and garlic. Slowly drizzle in the walnut oil while the food processor is running. Season with mustard, maple syrup and salt to taste. Add about 2-3 tsbp of water (or oil if you’re not worried about oil intake) to thin.
- If you would rather not have any oil, I recommend tripling the amount of walnuts (or using a shop bought roasted walnut butter) and turning them into a walnut butter in your food processor (it’s super easy and you don’t need a high-tech machine – see this base recipe) – that way the walnuts release their natural oils and get all creamy. Use a portion of the walnut butter for the dressing, season as per the instructions above and thin with a little water if needed.
- Slice the fennel bulb, celery sticks and radishes very thinly using a sharp knife or a mandolin.
- Place all the veggies (including the rocket / arugula) in a mixing bowl and stir some of the walnut dressing through them (you will have some leftovers).
- Pile the salad on a serving plate. Sprinkle with pickled onion strands, chopped parsley, crushed leftover walnuts and freshly ground black pepper.