This salad brims with freshness and snap. If you can't find fennel, use Belgian endive instead.
To turn this into a more substantial dish, drape smoked salmon or prosciutto over the finished salad or add slices of slivered Parmigianino Reggiano or Spanish Manchego cheese.
The tarragon dressing is my all-time favourite. I like the creaminess as well as the spring-like, liquorice taste.
1 small fennel bulb, trimmed
Salt to taste
8 ounces green beans, trimmed
6 cups packed baby spinach
Creamy Tarragon Dressing:
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon or ¼ teaspoon dried
¼ teaspoon finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Cut fennel in half and remove core. Using a mandolin or sharp knife, slice fennel thinly. Place in a bowl, sprinkle with salt and let sit for 30 minutes.
Bring a large skillet of salted water to a boil. Add green beans and boil for 3 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Drain and refresh under cold water until cold. Drain and pat dry. Cut into 2-inch pieces.
Combine green beans and spinach in a bowl.
Prepare dressing by whisking mayonnaise, vinegar, tarragon and garlic in a bowl. Slowly whisk in oil. Season well with salt and pepper.
Pat fennel dry and add to green beans. Toss salad with dressing. Serves 6.