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Healthy Recipes: Fennel and Red Grapefruit Salad with Asiago Cheese

A Perfect Winter Salad

Citrus fruits can dress up a winter salad with healthy vitamin C. The cancer-fighting compound lycopene makes the grapefruit in this recipe red.This week's recipe is an elegant yet simple combination of grapefruit sections, fennel wedges and shards of savory Italian Asiago cheese, dressed with a drizzle of olive oil.

In case you've never tried it, fresh fennel resembles celery, with a larger bulb at the base. It's easy to find in most supermarkets, and has a crisp texture, delicately pale green color and slightly licorice-sweet taste. Combined with juicy red grapefruit and piquant slivers of Asiago, this salad gets rid of the winter blahs in a hurry.

Fennel and Red Grapefruit Salad with Asiago Cheese

1 large fennel b
1 large red grapefruit
1 oz. Asiago cheese
4 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, preferably mild and fruity Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Trim the fennel by slicing it across the top just where the bulb starts to swell, cutting off any stalks and fronds. Cut off a slice from the tough bottom. With your fingers pull away any tough or bruised outer layers. Halve the bulb vertically, making 2 pieces. Cut each half vertically into five 1/2-inch wedges. Trim away most of the hard core from each wedge, leaving just enough to hold its layers together.

Cut the top and bottom off the grapefruit, cutting deep enough to expose the flesh. Standing the grapefruit on its flat bottom on a work surface, work a knife down the side, following the curved shape of the fruit to slice the peel and white pith in a strip. Keep rotating the grapefruit until all the peel is removed. Holding the peeled fruit over a bowl, work the knife in along the membrane on both sides of every section, releasing the flesh into the bowl. Squeeze the juice from the membrane into the bowl.

To assemble the salad, on each of four salad plates, arrange 5 fennel edges in an arc. Fan out 4 grapefruit wedges below the fennel, slightly overlapping them. Holding the chunk of cheese over each plate, use a vegetable peeler to shave a few thin slices over the salad, using one-quarter ounce of the cheese for each serving. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of the oil over each salad. Season with a pinch of ground pepper. Serve the salad immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 110 calories, 7 g total fat (2 g saturated fat), 11 g carbohydrate,
3 g protein, 3 g dietary fiber, 115 mg sodium.