I've never been a big Star Trek fan. Well, ok, there were a few years when I was growing up when I thought Deanna Troi was the coolest woman on TV. But besides that, never a big fan. I think I might have seen one of the movies... once. So I was slightly disturbed when the first thought that came to mind while I chopped my farmer's market-fresh fennel was "That looks just like the Star Trek logo!"
And that's not even a good picture of it. It was kind of eerie... More eerie was that this proved that I'm a big geek. I mean, I've known it for a long time, but this really solidified the fact.
Anyway, when I shook myself out of my geeky stupor and finished cutting the fennel bulbs, I was at a bit of a loss for what to make with said fennel. This recent Chowhound post had given me some good ideas, but I was short on supplies. I already had some corn boiling, intending it as a snack for work the next day. Instead, I cleaned all the kernels off and threw them in with the fennel.
With a little more tweaking, I was left with a very brightly flavored salad. The fennel, still raw, is the focus with its vibrant anise flavor. I liked the texture combination from using both the fennel bulb and stalks. The corn brought a sweet burst of flavor to balance out the savory fennel. Adding lime juice incorporated a tart burst to each bite. This salad is simple to make, but it tastes so complex. It would be a great side dish for some grilled meat or fish.
Fennel and Corn Salad
2 small fennel bulbs, sliced thinly, plus 3 or 4 fronds, chopped
2 ears of corn, cooked, kernels scraped off
juice of 1 lime
pinch of sugar
pinch of salt
Toss all ingredients in a bowl. Make sure everything is coated in the lime juice. Season with sugar and salt to taste.