Apple and Fennel Salad and Candied Pecans

By: Hannah Lee Leidy
Apple and Fennel salad
Photo courtesy of Pomegranate Hospitality

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Serves 4 to 6

  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons Morton kosher salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large apples, preferably Pink Lady or other sweet-tart variety
  • 1 large fennel bulb with its fronds
  • 4 scallions
  • 2 tablespoons whole pink peppercorns
  1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  
  2. In a large glass or metal bowl, beat the egg white until it’s frothy enough to hold soft peaks. Mix the sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, and Aleppo pepper, then fold in the nuts until evenly coated. Spread the mixture over the prepared baking sheet and bake in the center rack for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating halfway through. You’ll know they’re done when they smell great and the coating has completely dried. Keep in mind that if you taste one while it’s still hot, it will be a little soft; the nuts become crunchy as they cool, so go by sight and smell rather than taste.  
  3. Combine the orange juice, vinegar, honey, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Whisk vigorously while you stream in the olive oil, mixing until it emulsifies into a smooth dressing. Set aside.  
  4. Core the apples and thinly slice them into half-moons. Pull the fronds from the fennel, remove its stems, and halve the bulb; thinly slice the bulb and chop or tear the fronds. Thinly slice the scallions (chop only the tips and use the whole thing unless the darker green parts bother you) and toss them all together in a large bowl. Lightly crush the peppercorns between your fingertips and add them.  
  5. Pour in all the dressing and delicately toss to combine. Add the nuts just before serving.  
  • From Alon Shaya, Saba Restaurant, New Orleans

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