BIBB SALAD WITH FENNEL, SUMMER PEACHES, AND MINTY DRESSING

Written By: Megan Ashforth | Photography By: Megan Ashforth

Multiple times a day, I disappear around the house with a pair of clippers to collect mint, which is taking over my mom’s flower garden. Mint sends out runners underneath the soil and can quickly colonize a garden if not contained, which means every year we find patches of mint in new places. Our best effort to contain it is to consume it.

This has worked out for me because I love mint. Right now, I’m adding mint to dressings, cocktails, salads, sauces, smoothies, and flower arrangements.

This minty dressing is tart, bright, and soon to be one of your favorites, which is why the recipe below makes enough for lunch the rest of the week.

We are also swimming in peaches. They are SO good right now. I can’t get enough of them. I have major dessert plans (galettes, cobblers, hand pies?) but tonight they added a sweet, summer punch to this simple, post-beach salad.

Bibb Salad with Fennel, Summer Peaches, and Minty Dressing
Time: 30 minutes | Serves 6

Salad ingredients:
1 large fennel bulb (or 2-3 small), fronds reserved
1-2 ripe peaches, thinly segmented
5-6 small radishes
½ cup pistachios
2 heads Bibb lettuce

Minty Dressing:
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup lemon juice
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 generous handful of mint leaves
1 tbsp maple syrup
½ tsp Kosher salt

Directions:

First, make the dressing. In the container of a high speed blender, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, mint, maple syrup, and salt. Blend on high until completely smooth, 1-2 minutes. Add more mint, maple syrup, or salt to taste. I like to go heavy on the mint! The dressing can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge.

Toast the pistachios in a small saucepan over a low flame, tossing occasionally until lightly toasted and fragrant. Allow to cool. Place the pistachios in a ziplock bag and use the back of a spoon to smash the pistachios into small pieces.

Remove the fennel stems and fronds. Reserve the fronds for garnishing. Reserve the stems in your fridge or freezer for a future vegetable stock. Cut the bulb in half and remove the hard core. Using a mandolin, or your sharpest knife, thinly slice the fennel bulb and the radishes. If not serving right away, place fennel and radishes in a small bowl of ice water to preserve their crunch and vibrance.

Just before serving, arrange the Bibb lettuce leaves to cover a large platter or serving dish. Next, layer on the fennel and radishes. Using a sharp paring knife, thinly segment the peach and scatter the wedges. Sprinkle with pistachios and garnish with fennel fronds.

Lightly drizzle the minty dressing over the salad.

Serve immediately.

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