Intermezzo: Apple Fennel Salad with Lemon Sorbet

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So I hosted a fund raiser for my synagogue this past Saturday night.  If I must say so myself; the food was quite excellent.  My personal favorite of the evening was a dish that came about unexpectedly.  I had decided that I wanted to make a salad with fennel and apple, but once I put the menu together I just couldn’t figure out when to serve it.  I already had an appetizer (Salmon Tartare) and I didn’t think that kind of salad belonged at the end of the meal.  But just as I was about to let it go I had the inspiration to serve an intermezzo (small palate cleanser – usually sorbet).  I already had the lemon sorbet (Sharon’s my favorite brand), but what if….what if I serve it on top of a refreshing fennel and apple salad?  Perfection! (Except for my friend Dori, who hated it.  I don’t accept responsibility for that since she doesn’t like fennel to begin with.)

You don’t have to serve this salad with sorbet, although the sorbet certainly does enhance the salad.  Or, you can change the flavor of the sorbet if you like – I’m quite sure that pear, mango, or passion fruit would work just as well.  Either way I think you will love it (unless, of course, you don’t like fennel to begin with – in which case substitute celery for the fennel).  Enjoy!

Apple Fennel Salad

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped mint

1 teaspoon snipped fennel fronds, optional

2 cups diced crisp, sweet apple (Honey crisp, Pink Lady, Fuji are best choices)

1 cup diced fennel

Salt to taste

Mint sprigs for garnish

Lemon sorbet or sorbet of choice, optional

In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, and sugar stirring until sugar dissolves; set aside

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Place the apple, fennel, mint, and fennel fronds into a medium bowl.

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Add the lemon mixture and toss to combine. Add salt to taste.

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Spoon into individual bowls and top with sorbet. Garnish with mint, if desired.

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Makes: 3 cups                Serves: 4 to 6

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