Happy Labor Day! We’re going to an all-day picnic, rain or shine, and I was instructed to bring a side salad. I couldn’t decide whether to bring a carb or veggie-based salad so I’m combining potatoes with green beans. I love my good old- fashioned mayonnaise-based potato salad with hard cooked eggs, but am concerned with the lack of refrigeration at this event.
You can never be too careful when it comes to mayonnaise-based salads in the warm weather. Though coolers will be available, I’ll stay on the safe side and stick with an oil and vinegar-based dressing. You can easily boost the color of this salad with the addition of diced tomatoes. Sliced artichoke hearts, as well, would be excellent in this Provencal-styled salad.
It’s the fresh, thinly sliced fennel that directs this salad “uptown”. If you have a mandolin, that would be perfect for shaving the fennel bulb. I just used a very sharp knife. Fresh fennel has a lovely, slight anise flavor. Look for firm, globular bulbs that are not shrunken or dried out in any way. Some bruising is inevitable but it’s of no concern as the coarser, outer layers are peeled away when the bulbs are prepared for cooking or to be used in salads. Leftover fennel is wonderful grilled or served sautéed as a topping for fish, particularly companionable with halibut.