The last salad from our picnic was a fennel slaw with pickled red onion, raisin, hazelnuts & mint. The fennel and hazelnuts give a nice crispness along with the sweetness of the golden raisins and a hint of mint, it's the perfect bite (way better than coleslaw :). Below are the recipes for both the pickled red onions and the fennel slaw.
Pickled Red Onion
1 pound red onions, peeled 3 cups red wine vinegar 1/4 cup red wine 1 cup sugar 10 peppercorns 3 bay leaves 1 Thai bird chili
Cut the onion in half lengthwise and cut thin slices.
In a non-reactive saucepan combine the vinegar, red wine, sugar, peppercorns, bay leaves and the chili. Heat until the sugar has dissolved. Pour over the red onion and allow it to sit overnight.
This can be refrigerated for up to one month and goes great on sandwiches.
Fennel Slaw pickled red onion, raisin, hazelnuts & mint Serves 4
1/4 cup golden raisins 4 cups fennel, sliced thin, preferably on a mandolin 1/2 cup pickled onion, drained (recipe below) 1/4 cup golden raisins 1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped 1/4 cup mint, coarsely chopped juice of 1/2 a lemon sea salt pepper
Place raisins in a bowl and cover with water allowing them to soften and plump up, about 15-20 minutes. Toss all the ingredients in a bowl, adjust seasoning and serve immediately. For picnics or parties, layer ingredients to prevent the pickled red onion from bleeding and discoloring the other components. The fennel layer is dressed with the lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper. As well, the pickled onion should be the bottom layer.