Recipe by Paula Marcoux.
Crisp Apple Salad
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- 1½ tsp whole coriander seed
- ½ tsp peppercorns
- 1 clove garlic
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 juicy lemon
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup chopped parsley or cilantro (or both)
- 1 medium bulb fennel
- 3-4 crisp fresh apples, chilled (picked at CN Smith Farm, perhaps)
- 1 bunch arugula
- Toast the sunflower seeds in a dry frying pan over medium-low heat for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until their color deepens a shade and their flavor develops. Pour onto a plate to cool.
- Add the coriander seed to the still-hot pan and roll them around for a couple minutes, or until they, too, smell wonderful. Add the peppercorns and toast for a few more seconds. Grind the hot spices to a fine powder with a mortar and pestle. (The resulting aroma is its own reward.) Add the garlic and salt, working it to a paste. Juice in the lemon, and stir in the olive oil and chopped herb(s). If you prefer to use a spice grinder, let the spices cool a tad, then pulverize them and add to the remainder of the dressing ingredients (mincing the garlic first, of course). Set aside the dressing while you prep the produce.
- Slice the fennel finely into bite-sized pieces and put in a big bowl. Cut the apple from the cores in wedges, and slice the wedges crosswise into 1/8th-inch slices. Add to the bowl. Chop the bunch of arugula across every inch or so, and toss the whole thing together. Correct salt and serve promptly.