Feta, Roasted Fennel and Tomato Salad with a Balsamic Vinegar and Basil Dressing Recipe

So it is feeling a lot like spring here in the UK so I thought a nice fresh salad would work a treat and it did! Fennel and Tomatoes are so delicious roasted, it makes them release their natural sweetness and really enhances their flavour. You get texture for the walnut’s and crisp lettuce and lovely creamy and salty note’s from the feta. I have recently discovered white balsamic vinegar and I am so glad I have as the flavour is amazing. Bring on the spring and summer.

Ingredients (serves 4)

For the roasted fennel

  • 1 fennel bulb, quartered into 8’ths and the herb tops reserved
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • pinch of chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • pinch of sea salt and fresh black pepper

For the roasted tomatoes

  • 275g punnet of baby plum tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar (I used white)
  • 1 1/2 tsp harissa paste
  • pinch of sugar, salt and pepper

For the salad

  • 1 baby gem lettuce, leaves picked
  • good handful of walnut’s, roughly chopped
  • 1 pack of good quality feta cheese, roughly torn into chunks
  • the reserved fennel tops

For the dressing

  • 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp runny honey
  • 1 tbsp chopped basil
  • 3 roasted garlic cloves, optional (recipe here)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees (fan)
  2. Prepare the fennel by adding the slices into a bowl, add in all the other ingredients and mix with your hands until they a fully coated. Place in a baking tray and cover with foil.
  3. Next prepare the tomatoes by laying them one side of a baking sheet. Mix the marinade ingredients into a jar or bowl apart from the sugar, salt and pepper. Pour the marinade over the tomatoes and lightly toss to coat. Finish off by sprinkling over the sugar, salt and pepper.
  4. Place the covered fennel on the other side of the baking sheet if you can and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Once the 30 minutes are up bring out of the oven. Take the foil off the fennel and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes. Set aside the tomatoes to cool.
  5. Make the dressing by adding all of the ingredients to a jar or bowl, shake or whisk well to combine, set aside.
  6. Assemble the salad by adding the baby gem leaves between 4 serving bowls, share out the fennel and tomatoes. Add the walnuts and feta. Top with the fennel tops and finish off with a drizzle of dressing. Enjoy.

 

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