Strawberries, Fennel and Cucumber Salad


Franklin Becker and Peter Kaminsky

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While traveling down South with my son, he requested a stop at Cracker Barrel for their mashed potatoes (which he is wild about). They had a salad that day of strawberries and cucumbers.

It surprised the heck out of me, but the proof is always in the eating, and the combination of crunch and sweetness was terrific.

When I got back to New York, I played around with this unlikely combination. Basil and fennel boost the fresh flavor and crisp texture here.

I'm fond of a glass of wheat beer to wash this down, but there's nothing wrong with Pinot Grigio or a Cheval--both wines that are just as crisp as the fennel and cukes.                         

Serves 4 

  • 1 pint small strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/2 pound fennel, thinly sliced on a mandoline
  • 1 whole English cucumber, peel on, thinly sliced on a mandoline
  • 1/2 cup basil, leaves only
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, combine the strawberries, fennel, cucumber, basil, olive oil, and vinegar. Toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper and serve chilled.
Reprinted from “Good Fat Cooking” by Franklin Becker and Peter Kaminsky. Copyright (c) 2014 by Franklin Becker. By permission of Rodale Books. Available wherever books are sold.

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