mastering the art of the mysterious mandolin

I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I don’t remember when I ate my first shaved fennel salad.

One thing I am certain of, it was many years ago. And ever since that moment I’ve been trying to make my own paper-thin fennel salads at home.

First was the purchase of an el cheapo mandolin which had the blade set so high, it was only good for slicing potatoes to make a potato bake.

Then a few years later I upgraded to a ‘v-slicer’.

My hopes were high but even with its two different height settings my fennel slices failed to live up to expectations.

Then the other night, after some success with my shaved cabbage salad, I decided to give the fennel holy grail another shot.

And you know what?

It worked!

No need to invest in a fancy new mandolin. All that was needed was a change in my mandolin ‘swing’ or technique.

The secret is to use as little pressure as possible and to move as quickly as you can. Such a simple solution I’m kicking myself I didn’t think of it sooner.

shaved fennel salad
serves 2 as a side

1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 medium bulb fennel
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley or mint, leaves picked

1. Combine lemon juice with 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in
a medium bowl. Season.

2. Trim fennel and finely shave on a mandolin, using as little
pressure as possible to get the finest slices.

3. Toss fennel in the dressing along with the herbs.

Jules x

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