I made this slaw recently because I had Tuscan kale and fennel in the refrigerator. “I don’t know that those two things go together,” my husband said. “Both of them taste great with lemon,” I replied, “so that’s the flavor that will marry everything together.” All I can say is that it worked beautifully and was delicious. My friend B.L., who was with us for dinner, asked for the recipe, so this post is for her…and everyone else who loves kale and fennel too. Here’s what I did:
1 bunch of Tuscan (aka Lacinato) kale – enough to make about 3 cups once chopped.
2 fennel bulbs
1/3 cup mayonnaise
Small bunch of fresh chives to make about 2 tablespoons once minced
salt and pepper
Cut the stems off the fennel bulbs and slice off the bottom if browned. Remove any bruised or browned outer sections and cut the bulbs in half. Cut out the hard inner core. I shredded the pieces of the bulb using the food processor, but you could use a grater or slice fine using a mandolin. Place the grated or sliced fennel in a bowl.
Cut off the larger part of the center rib on the kale leaves and slice larger leaves in half.
Stack up the leaves and slice the stack into ribbons about 1/4 inch thick. Add the kale pieces into the bowl with the fennel.
Grate the rind off the lemons using fine side of a grater. Cut the lemons in half after removing the zest and squeeze the juice into a bowl or glass measuring cup. Add the lemon zest and mayonnaise. Season with salt and pepper to taste. I think this dish is best when you go heavy on the freshly grated pepper. After the dressing is well blended, add to the fennel and kale. Mix well and place in the refrigerator until it’s time to serve.
Toasted, sliced almonds
Toasted pine nuts
Finely chopped dill