Apples are delicious, healthy & full of yummy goodness. They are a rich source of both dietary fiber & antioxidants as well. Apples are also thought to have many cardiovascular benefits & anti-cancer benefits. So maybe “an apple a day” does really help keep the doctor away after all ☺.
The Marathi word for apple is “safarchand” and the Hindi word is “seb”. My preference is using Red Delicious apples for this dish but any firm sweet variety will do. Also, peeling the apples is completely optional.
I am also a huge fan of fennel in all of its delicious forms – fennel is a spice, vegetable and an herb. As far as spices go, fennel is one of my favorites. It has a lovely mild anise/licorice flavor that pairs well with most other spices. Fennel as a vegetable is an anti-oxidant and also a rich source of both fiber and Vitamin C. In India, fennel is known as “badishep” in Marathi and as “saunf” in Hindi. The seeds are often eaten after dinner as a digestive aid. Fennel seeds and ground fennel powder are both readily available in any Indian grocery store or market.
My yummy Apple, Fennel & Celery Salad is always a hands-down favorite among family & friends alike. It’s light, refreshing and super crunchy – just perfect for serving with any meal.
APPLE, FENNEL & CELERY SALAD
1 large firm apple (Granny Smith or Honeycrisp work well), julienned
2-3 tender celery stalks, very thinly sliced on the bias (use the celery leaves too)
1 medium fennel bulbs, very thinly sliced (use the fennel fronds too)
juice of ½ lime or lemon
2-3 tbsp fresh orange juice
¼ tsp chaat masala (or ground cumin powder)
salt & pepper, to taste
pinch of sugar, to taste
2 tbsp oil (olive, vegetable or canola)
¼ cup toasted unsalted peanuts
freshly chopped cilantro leaves
freshly grated coconut for garnish
freshly chopped chives for garnish
If you are not familiar with fennel: trim and prepare the fennel bulb by removing the stalks first. Next, slice the bulb in half and remove the tough inner core. Then thinly slice the fennel, a mandolin works great for this task.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the lemon juice with the orange juice, chaat masala, salt, pepper & sugar. Whisk well to combine and slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking all the ingredients together. Set aside until needed.
In a large salad bowl, combine the julienned apple with the celery and fennel. Next, add in the peanuts & cilantro leaves along with any celery leaves and fennel fronds. Toss well to combine and then add the salad dressing. This salad could easily be made in advance and dressed just before serving. Garnish with the coconut & chives, served chilled along with any delicious meal.
Feel free to add your favorite ingredients to this salad such as orange segments, seedless grapes, toasted sliced almonds, craisins and goat cheese crumbles.
For a delicious creamy version of this dish, stir in some thick yogurt or even mayonnaise.