Tarragon “Chicken” Salad
with Shaved Fennel and Green Apple
Crisp, fresh, and delightfully light, this “chicken” salad makes wonderful use of one of our favorite herbs. Tarragon — especially fresh tarragon — has a delicate, lemon-anise flavor, and is, in our opinion, sorely underused in kitchens these days. We chose to underscore that flavor with the addition of fennel; keep some of the delicate, lacy fronds to use as a garnish. Enjoy this salad all mixed up together, or eat it scooped up in lettuce cups.
- "Chicken" Strips
- 1 fennel bulb
- 1 green apple
- 1 shallot
- 6 oz cucumber
- Fresh tarragon
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp vegan mayonnaise
- Butter lettuce
- Salt and pepper*
- 1 tsp olive oil*
- *not included
Put a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tsp oil. Roughly chop the “Chicken” Strips into small pieces. Add to hot skillet. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until browned, stirring occasionally, about 5 to 7 minutes. Next, mince garlic and add to the skillet with the “chicken”. Cook until fragrant, 1 minute, and transfer “chicken” and garlic to a large bowl.
Rinse and dry the fennel. Cut the dark green stems from the fennel bulb. Pick the feathery fronds from the stems and set the fronds aside for later use; discard the stems. Cut the fennel bulb from top to bottom, and remove the V-shaped core. Thinly slice the cored bulb and add to the bowl with the chicken and garlic.
Rinse, core, and dice the apple. Peel and thinly slice the shallot. Add the apple and shallot to the large bowl with the chicken and garlic. Rinse and thinly slice the cucumber, sprinkle with salt, and place in a colander to drain.
Rinse and remove the tarragon leaves from the stems. Discard the stems, and finely chop the leaves. Finely chop the reserved fennel fronds and add to a medium bowl, along with the vinegar, tarragon, ¼ tsp salt, and the vegan mayonnaise. Whisk until smooth.
Pour the dressing over the large bowl with the “chicken” and other ingredients. Toss well to combine. Separate the lettuce leaves from the root, rinse, and dry.
Top the butter lettuce leaves with the “chicken” salad, and garnish with the sliced cucumber. Serve family style on a platter or as individual lettuce cups, and enjoy!