Shaved Fennel, Radish, and Grapefruit Salad Recipe

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds, lightly crushed
  • 4 medium fennel bulbs (sometimes called anise; about 3 1/2 lb total), stalks cut off and discarded
  • 1 lb radishes (about 1 1/2 lb total with greens), trimmed
  • 4 pink or red grapefruits
  • 1 medium garlic clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Special equipment: a Japanese Benriner or other adjustable-blade slicer
  1. Heat oil with fennel seeds in a small heavy saucepan over moderate heat until seeds are fragrant and pale golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let steep 2 hours.
  2. While seeds are steeping, quarter fennel bulbs lengthwise and cut out and discard most of cores, leaving just enough core to keep quarters of fennel intact. Cut fennel lengthwise into paper-thin slices with slicer. Transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Cut radishes crosswise into very thin slices (slightly thicker than fennel slices) with slicer and add to fennel in bowl.
  4. Cut peel, including all white pith, from grapefruits with a small sharp knife. Working over a bowl, cut segments free from membranes and squeeze juice from membranes into bowl. Transfer segments to a cutting board, reserving juice in bowl, and coarsely chop, then add to fennel and radishes.
  5. Pour fennel oil through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl. (Discard seeds.)
  6. Mince garlic and mash to a paste with a pinch of salt using a large heavy knife, then transfer to another small bowl. Whisk in salt, pepper, fennel oil, and 5 tablespoons grapefruit juice, then pour over salad, tossing gently to coat.