Courgette, Fennel, Apple, Hazelnut and Asparagus Salad

With Lots of Greens, Apple Balsamic Dressing

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This is one of those salads that are great all tumbled together, packed with lots of different leaves and fresh crunchy vegetables. It makes the perfect summer lunch salad with a crisp baguette.

Ingredients

  • 4 medium courgettes
  • 3 heads of fennel
  • 24 asparagus spears, trimmed and blanched, then refreshed in iced water
  • 2 handfuls of toasted hazelnuts, skins removed
  • 2 large handfuls of assorted greens (watercress, rocket, chicory, Cos etc.)
  • 4 apples (I like to use 2 Granny Smiths and 2 Red Delicious)
  • handful of sprouts for garnish

For the Apple Balsamic Dressing

  • 250 ml apple juice
  • 6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 125 ml extra-virgin olive oil

Method

First make the apple balsamic dressing, place the apple juice and balsamic vinegar in a small pan and cook to reduce to about one-quarter of its volume. Season with salt and pepper, then leave to cool. Mix in the olive oil.

Using a potato peeler, peel ribbons from the courgettes, discarding the soft seedy part in the centre. Thinly slice the fennel into ‘rings’ (a mandolin grater is ideal for this). Cut the asparagus spears at an angle into short lengths. Cut the hazelnuts in half or roughly chop them.

Divide half the greens between 4 plates and place the remainder in a large bowl. Quarter the apples and remove the core (you can also peel them if you want), then thinly slice them and add to the bowl with all the remaining ingredients, including two-thirds of the dressing. Toss well together and divide between the 4 plates. Drizzle the remaining dressing over and serve immediately.