I’d never had fennel until last year during my nutrition assessment to try 5 new foods. Fennel has a slightly sweet licorice taste when it’s raw, and is then deliciously sweet when roasted. So for this salad, I took the best of both, and roasted half of the fennel and left the other half raw. Mixed with the slightly spicy crunch of raw radishes, this is a great spring salad. The orzo helps tone down the crunchy vegetables, and showcases the wonderful flavors of the parsley-lemon vinaigrette.
Radish and Fennel Orzo Salad with Parsley-Lemon Vinaigrette
Adapted from Healthy Recipe Ecstasy
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 2 cups uncooked whole-wheat orzo
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 large bulb fennel, diced
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup chopped radish
- salt and pepper, to taste
For the vinaigrette, combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
For the salad, preheat the oven to 400°F, and toss half of the diced fennel with olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt, and spread out on a baking sheet. Roast the fennel for about 20-30 minutes, or until the fennel is caramelized. Cook the orzo according to package directions with the tablespoon of salt.
In a large bowl, toss the roasted fennel, the remaining raw fennel, the orzo, radishes, and the vinaigrette. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Cover and let sit for at least 30 minutes, either at room temperature or in the fridge.