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Fennel, apple and herring salad recipe

Fennel, apple and herring salad recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Salad
  • Pasta salad
  • Couscous salad

Oily fish such as herring are traditionally served with tart or pungent ingredients that offer a refreshing piquancy to balance the rich fish flavour. Serve the salad for lunch or supper.

2 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 4 herrings, cleaned and heads removed, cleaned weight about 500g (1 lb 2 oz)
  • 120ml (4 fl oz) dry cider
  • 360ml (12 fl oz) vegetable stock
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 200g (7 oz) couscous
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 3 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 red-skinned dessert apple
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced
  • 1 small bulb of fennel, diced
  • 3 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 45g (1 1/2 oz) hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • sprigs of fresh dill or fennel fronds to garnish
  • Dill and mustard dressing
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 4 tbsp Greek-style yogurt
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill

MethodPrep:25min ›Cook:18min ›Ready in:43min

  1. Rinse the herrings. Pour the cider and stock into a saucepan large enough to hold the fish. Add the shallots and bay leaf, cover and simmer over a moderately low heat for 10 minutes. Add the fish and continue simmering for 8 minutes or until the flesh looks opaque. Remove the herrings and set aside to cool. Strain the cooking liquid and reserve 270 ml (9 fl oz).
  2. Put the couscous in a bowl and pour over the reserved fish cooking liquid. Cover and leave to soak for about 10 minutes or until the couscous has absorbed all the liquid. Add the mint, parsley and lemon juice, and fluff up the grains with a fork to mix.
  3. To make the dressing, in a small bowl stir together the lemon juice, mustard, mayonnaise and yogurt until smooth, then stir in the dill.
  4. Quarter, core and dice the apple. Put the apple, cucumber, fennel, spring onions and hazelnuts into a bowl and stir in half of the dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Remove the skin from the herrings and carefully take the fillets off the backbone. Use tweezers, if necessary, to remove any remaining bones. Cut the flesh into large pieces and mix gently with the remaining dressing.
  6. Pile the couscous on individual plates and arrange the apple salad and fish on top. Garnish with dill sprigs or fennel fronds and serve.

Some more ideas

Replace the couscous with 280 g (10 oz) small pasta shapes, cooked and cooled. Gently stir the pasta with the herring and the apple salad, adding a little extra dill. * Make a delicious Italian-style mackerel and bean salad. Wrap a 450 g (1 lb) mackerel in foil and bake in a preheated 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4) oven for about 20 minutes. Cool, then remove the skin and bones and flake the flesh. Omit the couscous and the apple salad. Instead, mix together 2 oranges, peeled and segmented, 1 small bulb of fennel, thinly sliced, 3 spring onions, thinly sliced and a can of cannellini or kidney beans, about 400 g, rinsed and drained. Add the mackerel to the salad with 3 tbsp chopped parsley. Make a dressing with 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and pepper to taste. Toss the salad with the dressing and serve on a bed of rocket, with crusty bread to accompany.

Plus points

Greek-style yogurt is made from full fat cow's or ewe's milk, and it has a much thicker texture and richer taste than plain low-fat yogurt. Look out for the lower fat varieties of Greek-style yogurt now available, with 4% or even 0% fat content – they still retain the creamy texture. * The fat content of herring (and of the fat-soluble vitamins A and D) varies according to the season, with highest values occurring in late summer and lowest values in spring. Vitamin A is essential for healthy skin, vision and eyes and, as with all vitamins, for growth; vitamin D is vital for the efficient absorption of calcium.

Each serving provides

B6, B12, E, niacin, iron, selenium * B1, calcium, copper, potassium * A, B2, C, folate, zinc

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Fennel has ancient culinary roots

Over the years, I’ve tried a number of the popular meal-kit delivery services, but didn’t continue any subscriptions because there was just too much packaging material to handle. With a dearth of local produce during the winter, I decided to give Misfits Market a trial run. They bill themselves as an online grocery store that rescues food that would otherwise be thrown away, because supermarket chains prefer “perfect” fruits and vegetables.

Their website describes these misfits as organic produce that might be quirky in appearance, including those that are oddly shaped or too small in size. When I opened my first box, I immediately understood. In the shipment were an acorn squash about half the size of the ones found in stores and a mango that was rather lumpy instead of elegantly ovoid.

As promised, the foods were all tasty and performed exactly as the “regular” specimens would in recipes. The next box included one of my favorites – fennel. Again, slightly smaller, but fine in every other aspect: a nice bulb, smooth stalks and lots of feathery green foliage. It would be a delightful side dish roasted or thinly sliced over a bed of greens.

For those of you unfamiliar with fennel, there are several varieties, including sweet, bronze, Florence and Roman. Based on the varietal names, it’s easy to guess that fennel is native to southern Europe, although now cultivated around the world. While not a root vegetable, fennel is actually a member of the carrot family. When growing, the bases of the fennel stalks weave together to form a thick bulb above the ground.

Like so many foods that have been around for centuries, fennel has a history of both medicinal and culinary uses, from ancient China where it was considered a remedy for snakebite to the Middle Ages where it was hung over doorways to repel evil spirits. It’s considered both an herb and a vegetable, and every part of the fennel plant is edible.

Seeds are sweet and aromatic, often found in Italian sausage, baked goods, sauerkraut and pickles. The stems can be grilled and the leaves tossed in salad or used as a decorative (and tasty) garnish. The most versatile part of the fennel plant is its bulb, which is delicious whether cooked or raw.

When raw, fennel has a crisp texture akin to celery, with a hint of licorice flavor. The best preparation is to simply shave the bulb into paper-thin slices and toss it in a salad. For reasons of contrast and compatibility, the sharp crunch and savory bite of raw fennel go well in salads that feature fruit – apples, pears, peaches and citrus all work nicely in combination with fennel.

When fennel is cooked, it caramelizes, tenderizes and develops a sweet flavor. To cook fennel, the easiest approach is to chop the bulb into eighths and roast it in the oven or sauté the pieces in a skillet until softened and slightly golden. For the dish in the photo, roasted fennel is combined with clementine sections and a slightly sweet citrus vinaigrette.

I’ve included two recipes, one for a salad that is endlessly adaptable to what you might have on hand in terms of greens, and a roasted fennel dish that can also be modified, for example if you have an orange instead of clementines. Although Misfits Market helped me keep produce on hand during the winter, I’m looking forward to the May 1 opening of the Historic Lewes Farmers Market.

Roasted Fennel & Clementines

1 fennel1/8 t salt
1 T olive oil
1 T rice wine vinegar
1 T olive oil
1 t honey
1/2 t Dijon mustard
1/4 t white pepper
1/4 t salt
2 clementines
black pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil set aside. Trim away the fennel stalks close to the bulb chop off the leafy tops and set aside. Cut the stalks into 2-inch pieces and arrange on the baking sheet in a single layer. Cut the bulb in half lengthwise and then into wedges arrange on the baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle the fennel with salt and drizzle with olive oil. Roast until golden brown, about 20 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, honey, mustard, white pepper and salt set aside. Zest the clementines to collect 1/2 t add to the vinaigrette. Peel the clementines and separate the segments, removing any clinging pith or strings. Squeeze the juice from two or three segments into the dressing and discard them. Arrange the roasted fennel and remaining clementine segments on a serving plate and drizzle with the dressing. Garnish with freshly ground pepper and fennel fronds.

Fennel & Apple Salad

3 C baby arugula
1 Granny Smith apple
1 fennel
1 minced shallot
1 T lemon juice
1 T apple juice
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 t grainy mustard
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper
3 T olive oil
1/2 C chopped walnuts

Rinse and dry the arugula and place in a serving bowl set aside. Cut the apple in half and slice very thin, using a mandoline scatter apple slices over lettuce. Trim away the stalks and fronds from the fennel set aside. Cut the bulb in half and slice very thin with the mandoline add fennel to bowl. Whisk together shallot, lemon juice, apple juice, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking constantly to emulsify. Pour dressing over bowl and toss to combine. Garnish with walnuts and fennel fronds. Yield: 4 servings.


  • 100mLs of white wine vinegar
  • 50grams of sugar
  • Bay leaf
  • 1 star Anise
  • 2 cloves
  • A few peppercorns
  • 1/2 a sliced carrot
  • 2–3 Orange peel strips
  1. Cure the fish — rub the flesh side with the Salt/ Sugar cure, cover and place in the fridge for 2–3 hours. You will find the fish will lose water and become firm. Rinse off under running cold water and pat dry.
  2. Meanwhile combine the pickle ingredient in a pan and bring to the boil for a few seconds. The vinegar will lose its ‘harshness’ and smell/ taste sweet and perfumed. Put aside until completely cool.
  3. Cover the fish with the pickling liquor and place in the fridge. They will be good overnight but 48 hours is better.
  4. Combine the shaved fennel, orange segments and half a fish fillet per portion. Drizzle with extra-virgin Olive Oil and a spoon of the pickle. You can also squeeze the remaining core of the Oranges once segmented for a little extra dressing. Season and enjoy.

Fennel Risotto with Radicchio

Peel shallot and garlic and chop finely. Heat 30 grams (approximately 1 ounce) butter in a pan and saute shallot and garlic. Add rice and saute until rice is translucent.

Deglaze pan with wine and cook rice, stirring, until wine is fully absorbed. Add broth so that rice is just covered and cook, stirring, until almost all liquid is absorbed. Continue to add broth in this manner and cook until rice is al dente, about 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

Meantime, rinse fennel and cut into thin slices. Rinse radicchio and cut into fine strips. Heat oil in a pan and saute fennel and radicchio. Sprinkle with sugar and let caramelize slightly. Rinse basil leaves, shake dry and coarsely chop.

Add remaining butter, Parmesan, fennel and radicchio mixture and basil to risotto. Season with salt and pepper, arrange on plates and serve.


Is it possible to salad with gastritis?

Gastritis does not provide for separate food, so salads, in which foods are collected that do not harm the stomach separately, you can eat. But their preparation must comply with certain rules:

  • Ingredients that require heat treatment, boil in water, steam or bake. This applies to vegetables, meat, fish, seafood, eggs
  • when using onion, scald it with boiling water
  • cheeses should be low in fat content
  • mushrooms, ginger, canned peas used in very limited quantities
  • dressing salads with vegetable oil, sour cream, natural yoghurt
  • do not add sausages, smoked products, pickled vegetables and fruits, radish, olives, spicy seasonings, mayonnaise and other purchased refills.

Since gastritis is characterized by inflammatory-dystrophic changes in the mucosa with different localization and secretion of gastric juice, the requirements for nutrition differ:

  • salads with gastritis with high acidity - they mostly should combine products that do not cause irritation of the walls of the stomach: boiled vegetables, low-fat meat (turkey, chicken, veal, rabbit), fish (hake, natotenia, pollock, cod), various greens, dietetic sauces. Sour varieties of fruit, with rough skin, pickled blanks for the winter, white cabbage, Bulgarian pepper is best not included in the composition of the dish
  • salads with gastritis with low acidity - it is allowed to use fresh vegetables and fruits (ripe tomatoes, cabbage, orange, mandarin), soaked herring, boiled meat and fish, soft-boiled eggs, green peas, sauces, meat, mushroom, vegetable and fish broths
  • salad with reflux esophagitis and gastritis - with this disease, the contents of the stomach are thrown into the esophagus, which causes painful heartburn and other unpleasant sensations. Therefore, the main task of a person is the organization of nutrition, which does not cause increased production of hydrochloric acid and does not irritate the walls of the organ. It is very important not to eat cold salads from the refrigerator, the most suitable here, the so-called, warm. Important feature - grated or finely chopped components and small occasional portions
  • salads with exacerbation of gastritis - this condition involves a strict diet, including mashed mucous soups on water, viscous porridge, puree from boiled vegetables. Even some cereals are rubbed, for example, buckwheat, salt is limited, rough fiber is excluded. It is difficult to present in the menu salads in this period. After removing acute symptoms, and it takes at least a week, you can slowly combine products that are neutral to taste, for example, rice and finely chopped baked chicken fillets or boiled fish, sprinkled with melted butter.

250 gram new potatoes
75 ml créme fraiche
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
1,5 tbsp fresh dill, snipped into small springs
150 gram marinated herring with fresh lemon
200 gram cocktail beetroot
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Halve or quarter any larger potatoes and cook them all in a pan of bolling salted water until tender.

Meanwhile, mix together the créme fraiche, mustard and dill (reserve a few springs to serve), and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the herring on two plates.

Drain the potatoes and then tip them into a bowl and, while still hot, gently mix them with the beetroot and drizlle with the dressing. Serve with the herring and sprinkle over the reserved dill.

This will also work well using other oily fish, such as smoked trout or mackarel fillets. Your enjoy meal!


A favorite that I grew up with is the herring salad. A super simple fast supper this one is. Tasting sweet and creamy, served with boiled new potatoes. That's all that's needed. It's a real  kid pleaser, for my kids anyways.

Of course there are the traditional potato salads, meat salads, cucumber salads, and so many more.

Then there's the popular meat salad. In northern Germany, with its use of mayonnaise or cream, it's called fleischsalat. In the south, without that mayonnaise or cream, it's called wurstsalat. Both are so good!

There's even the "new" traditional - Corn Salad - a colorful and quick German salad. When I said "new" traditional, that's because I didn't grow up with corn. 

In Germany, corn was food for animals, not people. That's the tradition my parents brought to Canada with them when they emigrated from Germany.

Although I enjoyed corn at my friend's house, it took quite a while before I saw it in our house. It carried the stigma of "cattle feed."

So, imagine my surprise when I visit Germany for the first time 50 years later and order a house salad in a very fine restaurant. A lovely salad arrives, sprinkled on top with corn! Canned corn

Grab your copy of Oma's favorite salads in her Summer Salads e-Cookbook.

Take a peek at  all Oma's eCookbooks . They make sharing your German heritage a delicious adventure!

But one of my very favorites is the cucumber salad. The one I grew up with has mayonnaise. In southern Germany, it's made without. Both are delicious. Both are traditional. Both are the best!


Cool Sardine Salad

This Scandinavian-inspired salad pairs cool, fresh, crunchy vegetables with sardines. Sardines are a cold-water, fatty fish low in mercury and rich in essential vitamin D and omega 3s. Tossed in a fragrant dill vinaigrette, this salad will brighten your day at any time of year!

You can serve this salad as a main or a side dish. Accompany it with a slice of coconut bread, crackers or with crudités like cucumbers, bell peppers or celery.

Many fish are excluded from the Candida diet because of their mercury and heavy metal content. This is particularly true for the largest fish, i.e. those at the top of the food chain, which spend their whole lives eating small organisms and absorbing the toxins that they carry.

The non-toxic fish that feature on the foods to eat list include wild salmon, sardines, anchovies, and herring. The fish you should be avoiding include tuna and swordfish.


Recipe Summary

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar, white wine vinegar, or cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 oranges, peeled and cut into segments
  • 1 medium red beet, trimmed, halved lengthwise, cored and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 medium apple, cored and sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, halved lengthwise, cored and cut into slivers
  • 1 small jicama, peeld and cut into matchsticks
  • ½ cup firmly packed chopped fresh Italian (flat leaf) parsley

For vinaigrette, in a screw-top jar combine oil, vinegar, orange peel, orange juice, garlic, and salt. Cover and shake well to mix.

For slaw, in a medium bowl toss together orange segments, beet, fennel, apple, and jicama. Add vinaigrette and gently toss to mix. Serve immediately.


Herringliciousness From Freshy’s Seafood Market On Mercer Island!

Smoked Herring from Freshy’s Seafood Market for Alaska Herring Week 2017! Photo courtesy Freshy’s Seafood Market.

Smoked Herring from Freshy’s Seafood Market for Alaska Herring Week 2017! Freshy’s is a grocery paired with a seafood shack (surprisingly called, “Freshy’s Seafood Shack”) on Mercer Island. Besides have this gorgeous Smoked Herring in the case, check out what else they are offering in the Market for Alaska Herring Week, along with fresh-frozen herring fillets with which you can make any of our wonderful recipes!

Norwegian Pickled Herring from Freshy’s Seafood Market for Alaska Herring Week 2017! Photo courtesy Freshy’s Seafood Market.

Norwegian Pickled Herring from Freshy’s Seafood Market for Alaska Herring Week 2017!

Wanna make this at home? You can purchase the same Alaska Herring fillets being used by Seattle’s top chefs for Alaska Herring Week from Central Coop on Capitol Hill, Freshy’s Seafood Market on Mercer Island, Old Ballard Liquor Co. in Ballard, and Wild Salmon Seafood Market at Fisherman’s Terminal! Once you’ve done that, here’s the recipe:

Norwegian Pickled Herring

Brine herring fillets for two hours

  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 tbls sugar
  • 1 tbls pepper corns
  • 8 bay leaves
  • 1 tbls mustard seed
  • 1 tbls coriander seeds
  • 1 cup sliced shallots

Bring mixture to a boil and chill. Add herring fillets and pickle for one to two days.

Sweet n Hot Pickled Herring from Freshy’s Seafood Market for Alaska Herring Week 2017! Photo courtesy Freshy’s Seafood Market.

Sweet n Hot Pickled Herring from Freshy’s Seafood Market for Alaska Herring Week 2017!

Wanna make this at home? You can purchase the same Alaska Herring fillets being used by Seattle’s top chefs for Alaska Herring Week from Central Coop on Capitol Hill, Freshy’s Seafood Market on Mercer Island, Old Ballard Liquor Co. in Ballard, and Wild Salmon Seafood Market at Fisherman’s Terminal! Once you’ve done that, here’s the recipe:

Sweet n Hot Pickled Herring

Season fillets with salt and rest for 20 minutes.

Season with sugar and rest for 2 hours.

  • 10 oz smoked pepper vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seed
  • 1 cup sliced shallots
  • Half cup smoked peppers

Bring mixture to a boil and chill. Add herring fillets and pickle for one to two days.


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