For the first time this year I grew fennel in my garden. I wanted to incorporate it into salads. I am a huge fan of crunchy salads and so I decided to add some of my favourite ingredients: fennel, apples, celery and walnuts. Combined, these flavours make for a beautiful Fall salad. In my early 20's I apprenticed to be a chef and one of my text books for culinary school had a recipe for the classic Waldorf salad. I became addicted to Waldorf salad. I was thinking of that beloved salad when I created this recipe. I have even made it for non fennel lovers or people who had never tried fennel. Unanimously, it was a big hit! This makes a perfect stand alone lunch or side salad. Make sure you use the crispest fall red apples. I don't recommend using Macintosh or Red Delicious variety or apples. When using fennel just use the white bulb and be sure to remove the core. If your fennel has green fronds on it still, don't discard them. Use them in seafood recipes or if you have enough fronds, make Fennel Frond Pesto, which you will find in my "Recipes" section. When you are toasting the walnuts, watch them very carefully as they burn very quickly and very easily. Believe me, I've learned the hard way.
Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a medium sized glass bowl; Set aside. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 C)Place the walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast for 7-12 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Be careful not to burn, even a little, or you will have to start again. Set toasted Walnuts aside
Add all of the chopped vegetables and fruit to the dressing. Mix Gently. Add the toasted walnuts to the salad as you serve it. This will keep in the chilled in the refrigerator for 48 hour or so.
Serving Size 3/4 cup