Saturday, February 6, 2010

Fennel with Roasted Orange Bell Pepper & Pineapple Salad (Serves 3)

Say what? A wings recipe from me as well before super bowl?? No no, not today..I'll do that on a different day. Instead I thought of posting the recipe for a great accompaniment, something that would at least lighten the guilt for you, after you have rummaged through 30 - 40 wings cheering your favorite team :-). A fantastic salad!. You got to try this salad, period; and the super bowl is a perfect occasion for that, for the vegans and vegetarians and everybody else.

As I was on one of my not so regular evening walks during last summer, I had the Beatles Rubber Soul playing on my iPod. I was listening to this album after ages and couldn't help starting to sing out aloud with it as I walked around my housing complex. I was in such a good mood due to this that I started thinking about food of course. This moment inspired me to come up with this salad recipe that I am going to share with you.

As the ingredients for the salad started flowing into my mind, I came back home and immediately wrote the recipe down in my diary. I finally got to try it out a few days ago, and it needed no tweaking whatsoever and came about just as I had imagined it would taste. One of my favorites now.

1 1/2 cups of fennel root chopped into 1/3 inch pieces
1/2 cup 'Dole' pineapple chunks cut into similar size as the fennel (buy a can of pineapple chunks with pineapple juice)
1 medium orange bell pepper seeded and cut into long slices 1/4 inch thick
1 jalapeno pepper seeded and slice into thin 1/2 inch pieces
bunch of fresh coriander leaves chopped fine
2 tbsp pineapple juice from the can
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp cumin seeds crushed
1 tbsp olive oil

Have all the ingredients ready before preparing the salad. Chop a medium sized fresh fennel root into small pieces (1/3 inch size), 1 1/2 cups in total. Cut the pineapple chunks into similar size pieces, 1/2 cup in total. Make sure to use the can of pineapple chunks that comes with pineapple juice and not heavy or light syrup. Cut one large jalapeno pepper (after removing the seeds) into thin 1/2 inch size pieces. After seeding the orange bell pepper, cut into long 1/4 inch thick slices and set aside.

In a non stick pan, on medium heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil and 1/2 tsp coarsely crushed cumin seeds (not powder). When the cumin seeds begin to crackle, add the orange bell peppers and roast them until golden brown. Turn off the flame.

In a large salad bowl, mix the fennel, jalapeno peppers, pineapple pieces, roasted orange bell peppers and cumin seeds, freshly chopped coriander leaves, pineapple juice, lemon juice, salt to taste and mix well together. Serve immediately.

Each ingredient in this salad stands out prominently, rendering a lip smacking taste. For me, the roasted orange bell pepper with its sweetness combined with the lemon and pineapple juice made it taste almost tasted like mango. Serve fresh at room temperature or cold.

Health Rating: High

Note: If you don't get orange bell pepper where you live, you can use red bell pepper instead, as you need a pepper on the sweeter side.

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