Shrimp & Spinach Salad

Shrimp & Spinach Salad

3 slices center-cut bacon
1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 c thinly sliced fennel bulb (about 1 medium bulb)
1 c grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 c thinly sliced red onion
8 oz fresh baby spinach

2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings, and crumble. Add the shrimp to pan, and cook 2 minutes, turning once.

Combine bacon, 2 cups fennel, grape tomatoes, red onion, and baby spinach in a bowl. Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add the shrimp and balsamic mixture to spinach mixture; toss well.


Salmon Packet with Fennel & Orange

Salmon Packet with Fennel & Orange
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 6-oz skinless salmon fillets
1/8 tsp salt, plus more for seasoning
black pepper
1 c thinly sliced fennel (1 bulb)
1 small red bell pepper thinly sliced into strips
1 small orange, peeled and sliced into rounds (pith and membrane removed)
1 c arugula or other baby greens
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar
In a small bowl, microwave butter on high for 20 seconds or until melted. Brush butter on the salmon and season the fillets with salt and pepper.Fold two 14-by-18-inch sheets of parchment* paper in half, widthwise. Opens sheetsand add an equal amount of fennel and bell peppers to one side of each. Place salmon fillets on top of vegetables, then top with orange slices. Fold sheets over to close, then roll and crimp edges to form a sealed packet.

En Papillote: French for ‘in parchment packet’. It’s easier to do than it sounds. View instructions with images.

Microwave packets on hight for 4 minutes. Open a corner of a packet (careful! the steam escaping will be very hot!) and check that salmon flakes at the touch of a fork. If not, microwave in 25-second intervals until fish is done.

While salmon cooks, toss arugula with olive oil, vinegar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Open packet,s top fish with greens, and serve.

*Foil packets would work, too. These should be baked (NOT MICROWAVED!) at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Grilled Fennel

Grilled Fennel

1 lb fennel

Extra virgin olive oil

Lemon-infused olive oil (or 1/2 a lemon, juice and zest)

Sea salt

Fresh Italian parsley, chopped

Pre-heat your grill to medium-high heat.

Cut off the green stems and the very bottom of the root (but not so much that the layers have nothing to attach to). Then cut the fennel in half lengthwise, and then again into 4-6 bite-sized wedges.

For an outdoor grill, simply brush your fennel wedges with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and grill until soft and tender, turning occasionally.

For a grill pan, heat the pan on medium high heat for 3-5 minutes. Lightly coat fennel in olive oil and sea salt (use a bowl and stir). When the pan is hot, add 1-2 tbsp olive oil and gently swirl it in the pan so it coats the surface. Place fennel in a single layer on the hot grill, lower the heat to medium and cook until translucent, tender and slightly browned, turning occasionally, approximately 10 minutes.

Your fennel should have grill marks and be caramelized in places. Be patient: and allow the fennel to become tender. Of course, you can choose your desired crunchiness. Remove the fastest cooking fennel pieces from the grill when they are done and place them in a bowl.

When all the fennel is finished cooking, drizzle it lightly with lemon oil (or juice and zest) and sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley. Adjust salt and zest if necessary.