the definitive guide to salad – shaved salads

5x10 shaved fennel salad 5x10 shaved fennel salad

I love it when two world collide, and today we have just that – the second last part of my definitive guide to salad with a new 5 ingredients 10 minutes recipe.

Ever since I discovered the concept – I think with a shaved fennel salad of sorts, I’ve been a fan of this type of salad. When you’re bored with leaves, there’s nothing like some very finely sliced vegetables to breathe excitement and crunch back into your salad repertoire.

One of the most amazing salads that I’ve ever had is the shaved cabbage salad with parmesan and aged balsamic at Cafe Sopra. Although it was a couple of years ago that I dedicated a whole blog post in homage to shaved salad perfection, it’s still firmly at the top of my favourite salad list.

stonesoup salad secrets – part 6 shaved salads

i. invest in a mandoline or v slicer
As a minimalist, I like to keep my kitchen gadgets to the essentials. While you can make do without a mandoline or v-slicer, if you loved shaved salads like I do, it’s worthwhile investing. Also excellent for super fine potato slices for a potato gratin.

ii. a good vegetable peeler can also do the trick
For things like zucchini or carrot, a sharp vegetable peeler can be just as good, if not better than a mandoline for getting lovely paper thin ribbons.

iii. get creative & experiment
Try shaved beetroot, or zucchini, radish, carrot or even a little shaved apple or pear to give sweetness as well as crunch. Another idea is to try a fresh take on celeriac remoulade – the french salad of celeriac (celery root) chopped into matchsticks and dressed in a mayonnaise based dressing – by shaving ribbons of the root with a vegetable peeler rather than boring old matchsticks.

iv. dress ahead
One of the benefits of shaved salads is that they tend to be a bit more robust and can actually benefit from marinating in the dressing for an hour or two before you eat. Ideal for picnics or for entertaining when you want to prepare everything before the guests arrive.

v. look at layering
Shaved salads can be ideal for serving as individual ‘composed’ salads with layers of different components. If you did want to get fancy you could use a different dressing for the different layers but that’s probably taking it a bit too far.

5x10 shaved fennel salad

[5 ingredients | 10 minutes]
shaved fennel salad with snowpeas (mangetout) & mint

serves 4 as a side salad

To turn this into a main course salad, serve on a generous bed of soft fresh ricotta, or crumble through some sharp goats cheese.

If you don’t have a mandoline or v slicer, you can still make shaved salads with a sharp knife and a steady hand. Your fennel might be a little thicker but it won’t be the end of the world. I prefer to slice my fennel lengthwise but if I’m using just a knife if find it easiest to slice crosswise into fine rounds.

1T lemon juice
3T extra virgin olive oil
1 small bulb fennel
150g (5oz) snowpeas, trimmed
1/2 bunch fresh mint, leaves picked

Combine lemon juice and oil in a medium bowl and season.

Shave fennel into fine slices using a mandoline, v slicer or sharp knife. Toss in the dressing.

Add snowpeas and mint and toss again.

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The stonesoup definitive guide to salad.
Part 1 – Leaves
Part 2 – Dressings
Part 3 – Grains, Nuts & Seeds
Part 4 – Bread
Part 5 – Legumes
Part 6 – Shaved Salads
Part 7 – to be revealed next week

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{ 7 comments }

Mark @ Cafe Campana February 19, 2010 at 5:07 pm

This is a very elegant looking salad. I like the contrasting colours.

jules February 19, 2010 at 6:43 pm

thanks mark. it’s very kind of you to say so.
I’m a big fan of contrast too

Kaushik | beyond-karma.com February 20, 2010 at 12:17 am

Such a simple idea that goes so far. Thanks, will keep shaving in mind for the next salad.

Andrew February 20, 2010 at 9:02 am

Great post again…most informative & enjoyable.
Oh, and just in case you weren’t aware, your book (and blog) get a mention in the latest edition of Country Style magazine (March 2010 – bright pink cover) on page 96! Well done!

jules February 20, 2010 at 12:51 pm

kaushik,
it’s the simple ideas that are usually the best. shaving salads is the business.

oh I didn’t know andrew – thanks. will have to head out and grab a copy. yay!

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets February 22, 2010 at 5:09 am

Such lovely, fresh photos! Thanks for the great tips.

Simon Food Favourites February 23, 2010 at 11:15 pm

i don’t think i’ve seen fennel look so good :-)

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