Fennel Romano Coins & Salad Greens with Buttermilk Sriracha Dressing

by Lynne on September 19, 2014

Post image for Fennel Romano Coins & Salad Greens with Buttermilk Sriracha Dressing

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Did you know that September 7th was Grandparents Day? Yes, I’m sure you all did. But here I am, a grandmother 3 times, and I’m without a clue. As usual. But the wonderful thing was, it coincided with me meeting my new granddaughter, Coralina (Coco for short), for the first time. She was born March 21st in Davis, CA and is now 5 months old. And sooooo cute. Here are some photos I took when they came to visit me in L.A. and see if you don’t agree that the level of cuteness is 12 out of 10.

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Here she is, Coco, master toe grabber.

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With the help of her dad, Coco the aspiring concert pianist.

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In the most beloved place in the world, mommy’s arms.

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Well, my salad certainly can’t compete with cute baby pictures, but I wanted you to have a recipe to take away with you. This recipe was inspired by Fine Cooking and it would make a really nice starter salad before your soup or main course. It’s pretty, the coins are crunchy and the dressing is so tasty.

Fennel Romano Coins and Salad Greens 2

I wanted to try this recipe because I was intrigued by the grated fennel component of the coins, which made them soft in the center and crispy on the outside. Also, I love my particular mix of salad greens with Italian parsley, arugula and pea shoots. You can use whatever greens you love or have on hand. Enjoy!

Fennel Romano Coins and Salad Greens 3

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Fennel Romano Coins & Salad Greens with Buttermilk Sriracha Dressing

Serves 4

½ cup buttermilk
½ cup mayonaise
1 clove garlic, pressed or mashed
1 small green onion, minced, white and green
2-3 teaspoons sriracha pepper sauce
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 teaspoon honey
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper

3 slices bacon, ¼-inch slices, cooked crisp

Fennel Romano Coins and Salad
1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed, fronds reserved, coarsely grated on box grater (about 1 cup)
½ cup fresh breadcrumbs (I used sourdough whizzed in mini chopper)
¼ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 garlic clove pressed
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

½ cup olive oil

4 packed cups salad greens (I used Italian parsley, arugula, pea shoots)

Thinly sliced radicchio for garnish (optional)
Fennel fronds for garnish

Make the Dressing

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Crumble bacon and mix in. Cover and chill for ½ hour or up to 2 days.

Make Fennel Romano Coins

1. In a sauce pan, bring 4 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil. Add the grated fennel and cook for 2 minutes. Drain in a fine-mesh strainer and cool under cold running water. Press out as much water as possible and transfer to paper towel-lined plate. Cover with additional paper towel and press.

2. In a large bowl, mix together grated fennel, breadcrumbs, Romano, egg and black pepper until thoroughly combined.

3. Form heaping tablespoons of fennel mixture into coins about ½ inch thick and place on plate.

4. Heat ½ cup olive oil in 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add 4 coins to skillet and cook until golden and crisp, about 2-3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Cook remaining coins in same manner.

Assemble Salad

1. Divide salad greens among 4 plates and top with Fennel Coins. Drizzle with dressing and garnish with fennel fronds. Serve with remaining dressing on the side if desired.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Adri September 20, 2014 at 2:10 pm

These fennel coins sound wonderful. You are SO inventive. And the cuteness factor with the new grandbaby is off the scale. Best wishes to you and your newest family member.

Patricia@Fresh Food in a Flash September 22, 2014 at 12:43 pm

Absolutely adorable granddaughter. Thanks for sharing. The fennel coins are beautiful also. I have fennel growing in my garden, so I’m going to be trying this dish this winter.

Lois September 22, 2014 at 2:00 pm

she sure is a cutie…looks like your son and daughter in law…you are so blessed.

Lentil Breakdown September 27, 2014 at 3:45 pm

It’s all too cute to eat. Well, except for Coco. Could eat her right up!

Fran @ G'day Souffle' October 29, 2014 at 4:27 pm

Lynne, I recently made this recipe- the salad dressing was delicious but my ‘fennel coins’ turned out too moist to form into effective balls- I think I might need to add more breadcrumbs and also to squeeze more moisture out of the cooked fennel- I’ll keep trying!

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