“It’s not a salad if you put bread in it” someone once told me. What a load of tosh. Have you ever heard of croutons? Hmmm? Although regular croutons depress me; rock hard squares that shatter to dust once bitten. I like to make bread more of the main event by getting some really good quality sourdough or a similar sturdy loaf, charring it and and tearing it into rough chunks (an idea I fell in love with after making this). It sponges up the dressing, leaving you with half juicy, half crisp pieces which really bulk out a salad in the most obscenely delicious manner.
Last night I wasn’t in the mood for meat, so I roasted some fennel and cherry tomatoes, added some fat kalamata olives and coated everything in an anchovy rich dressing – 10 really large, plump fillets which pumped things up a notch or twenty. Chilli, garlic, parsley, olive oil…you can imagine it all soaking into the bread. Go on, imagine it.
Deep-fried croutons, be gone.
Roast Fennel and Bread Salad with Anchovy Dressing (serves 2)
2 bulbs fennel
10 cherry tomatoes
3 cloves garlic
About 8 kalamata olives
2 slices sourdough bread
For the dressing:
1 red chilli, finely chopped
Small handful parsley, finely chopped
10 plump anchovy fillets, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Remove the tough outer later of the fennel and trim any stalky bits at the top. Cut each bulb into quarters and then cut each quarter in half again. Arrange in a roasting dish and sling in the garlic (unpeeled) too. Drizzle with oil then give everything a good mix around to make sure it’s coated well. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 20 minutes.
Arrange the tomatoes in a separate dish, coat with oil and season as you did with the fennel. Once the fennel has been roasting for 20 minutes, put the tomatoes in the oven too. Cook for a further 15 minutes.
To make the dressing, put the chilli, parsley and anchovies in a pestle and mortar and pound to a paste. Add the lemon juice, a good slug of oil to loosen it and season with black pepper. Give everything a really good mix to emulsify the dressing. Once the vegetables are ready, remove the garlic and squeeze that into the dressing also. Mix well again.
Toast the bread, tear it into chunks and put into a large bowl. Add the fennel and tomatoes followed by the dressing. Give it a really good mix. Arrange on plates with the olives scattered over.
Category: Bread, Fish, Fish and Seafood, Main Dishes, Salads | Tags: Anchovies, anchovy dressing, bread salad recipe, chilli, fennel salad, fennel salad recipe, kalamata olives, roast cherry tomatoes, roast fennel and bread salad 18 comments »