Arugula and Fennel Salad with Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3 cipollini onions, peeled
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 shallot, finely diced
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves only
- 1/2 cup champagne vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest, plus 1 1/2 lemons, juiced
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/4 cups olive oil
- 1 bunch fresh chives, chopped
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1 1/2 cups arugula
- 8 grape tomatoes, halved
- 2 small bulbs fennel, sliced
- 1/2 cup grated jack cheese, for garnish
Put a small saucepan, filled halfway with water, over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Stir in the sugar and a pinch of salt. Add the onions and poach until fork tender. Remove the onions from the water to a small bowl and cool. Halve the onions and set aside.
Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette: Chop the garlic and shallot in a food processor or blender. Add the thyme and rosemary leaves and pulse to combine. Add the vinegar, lemon zest and juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper. With the motor running, slowly pour in the olive oil until the mixture is emulsified. Pour the mixture into a bowl and stir in the chives. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and set aside.
Heat a small saute pan over medium-low heat. Add the sliced almonds and toast for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir them so they don't burn! Remove from the heat and let cool.
To assemble the salad, put the arugula in a large bowl, add the toasted almonds, grape tomatoes, fennel, cipollini onions, and a few spoonfuls of dressing. Add more dressing, to taste, and season with salt and pepper, if needed. Serve the salad on chilled plates and garnish the top with cheese
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