Why Fennel, Pea and Asparagus Salad?
There are a some flavour combinations that simply are perfect. Think of tomatoes and basil, potatoes with rosemary, pork and apples and of course peas with mint.
When I feel inspired to play with new combinations of ingredients, I always find myself at the same starting point – a few flavours that just seem to be made for each other.
I find by starting with building blocks (one of two ingredients) that compliment each other solidly, the rest of the creation is easy and fun.
Personally I look at individual flavours and see what ingredients go together. Try to have flavours that match with at least one or two other ingredients and build from there. I also think about how texture, taste and colour will enhance the dish or distract from it.
This salad was created out of my love for peas with mint. The fennel adds a fresh yet earthy tone, while the asparagus and peas bring out the sweetness of the mint, and the lemon lightens the salad as a whole.
1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1 inch stems
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 bunch mint, picked
3 handfuls rocket
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tablespoon truffle oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
Blanch the asparagus in boiling salted water, and toss into a colander with the frozen peas (the peas will defrost from the heat of the asparagus and the asparagus will cool quickly).
In a large bowl toss the rocket, sliced fennel and mint together. When the asparagus is cool, and peas are defrosted toss them with the salad leaves. Add the lemon zest.
In a separate bowl whisk together the lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, truffle oil, olive oil salt and pepper.
Toss the salad in the dressing and serve.
Serves four as a side or two as a main.