One of the many joys of being sufficiently competent in the kitchen is the ability to recreate dishes from taste memory. A couple of weekends ago I bought an assortment of salads from Whole Foods’ take out counter and really enjoyed them. They were pricey for what they were but the convenience factor was hard to beat. As I sat in my hotel room shovelling bites of delicious salad in my mouth, I thought “wow I have to make this once I get home”.
Of course the urgency waned off once I was surrounded by the comfort of my own kitchen. It took another road trip and a visit to a Whole Foods 900km from home before I actually did anything about this inspiration. This Fennel Artichoke Edamame Salad tastes refreshing even on hot summer days. Don’t be fool though, the ingredients are easily available year round so you can enjoy it any time of year.
Aside from the enticing combination of fennel, artichoke, and edamame, the lemon vinaigrette was key to bring everything together in harmony. I could not leave well enough alone and added an element of funk with some finely chopped preserved lemon peel. This is optional but I think it added a bit of complexity to the salad. I also highlighted the mild liquorice flavour of fennel with some fresh tarragon. This vegan salad is a complete meal all on its own. It is healthy but certainly does not taste like diet food.
Speaking of diet, I regain the weight I lost earlier in summer and am now holding steady at a good race weight. I feel energetic and the rib cage silhouettes are not visible anymore! Recent photographs show muscle definitions where they should be and I generally feel healthy and normal. As of this week, I have a new tennis racquet and a pair of tennis shoes. It’s been a few years since I expressed interest in learning to play tennis. Now that I actually bought all the toys, I am excited to learn a new hobby soon!
Fennel Artichoke Edamame Salad
inspired by Whole Foods Market
makes 8 cups
- 1lb / 454g frozen shelled edamame, defrosted
- 1 can artichoke hearts in water, drained and quartered
- 1 medium size fennel, halved and cored
- juice from 2 medium size lemons
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- big handful of tarragon or other fresh soft herbs
- 2 small preserved lemons, drained
- salt and pepper to taste
- Toss edamame and artichoke hearts in a large mixing bowl. Tear fennel fronds into the bowl. Using a mandolin, shave fennel crosswise into bowl as well.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, and Dijon mustard until emulsified. Dress salad evenly with vinaigrette. The acidity from lemon juice prevents fennel from oxidizing. Toss in tarragon (or other fresh soft herbs).
- Using a sharp knife, cut the preserved lemon into wedges and discard seeds and pulp. Finely chop the peel. You should have about 1 tablespoon of chopped peel. Toss evenly with salad.
- Adjust taste with salt and pepper. The salad can be served immediately or hold in fridge for about 2 hours for flavours to meld.