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Fennel, Walnut and Apple Salad
from the kitchen of Sharmagne Leland-St. John

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 or 2 large shallots, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3/4 cup walnuts
2 large fennel bulbs, trimmed
1 sweet red apple
3 tablespoons chopped Italian flat leafed parsley

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, shallots, salt and pepper.  Set aside for at least 1/2 hour to allow the flavours to mingle.

Place the walnuts in a single layer on the baking sheet.  Toast until the nuts are lightly browned, approximately 15 minutes.  Be careful not to burn them.  When they are cool, you may chop them or break them into coarse pieces by hand.

Trim the fennel bulbs by removing the stalks and the outer damaged layers.  Cut the bulbs in half and slice as thinly as possible.  You may either use a sharp knife or vegetable slicing apparatus.  Remove the apple core and cut in half.  Slice the apple in half and, using a vegetable peeler, slice the apple into paper thin slices.  Chop the parsley.  Place the fennel, apple, toasted walnuts and parsley in a salad bowl.  Toss well.  Add the dressing and toss again.

This salad may be served as a starter or as a meal in itself with various hard and soft French cheeses. 

Another variation is to add thinly sliced radishes.

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