Rocket, Fennel, Apple & Mint Salad - Pork's Perfect Green Leafy Partner
If you've read my Pornographically Good Pulled Pork post you'll know that I'm a relatively recent arrival at the pork party but damn I'm playing my best game of catch up! This salad was created to partner with one of my faves - proscuitto wrapped pork tenderloin (yep, double pig, I said I was making up for lost time). Everyone knows that fennel and apple are pork's longtime lovers but the whole apple sauce idea does nothing for me, so this salad is my update on bringing together the tried and true flavours with a fresh twist.
Get this stuff
1 large fennel bulb
200 - 300 grams rocket
1 large apple
1 bunch mint
12 - 16 Kalamata olives
20 shelled pistachios
3T Apple cider vinegar
6T Extra virgin olive oil
3T Lemon juice
1T Rice malt syrup or date syrup from soaked dates
Pink salt & cracked black pepper to taste
As always the measurements for the dressing are approximate as I'm always tasting and adjusting as I go so use this as a basis and go with what pleases your palate.
Do this with it
If you have a julienne slicer in your kitchen weaponry get that bad boy out now and get busy with it on the fennel and apple making wafer thin slices. If you don't own one then this is going to be a great opportunity to hone your knife skills by finely slicing them instead.
Throw it in a bowl with the rocket, then chop the mint, olives and pistachios and toss them through as well.
The dressing is a simple matter of putting all the ingredients in a blender or, if you prefer, you can give yourself a bicep workout and shake it all in a jar instead. Get it all well combined and then taste; it should be sharpish from the lemon but not enough to give you a face like a smacked bum and the bitterness should be offset nicely by the rice malt syrup, so if it's too tart then make the adjustments to suit. What you're aiming for is something with just enough of a sweetness to bring out the apple in the salad and compliment the freshness of the fennel and mint.
This makes a great hot day one bowl dinner with the addition of some pork and a fork but it also has enough robust flavours to stand as a gorgeous green side dish all on it's own. Your call.