It might not be the quickest salad to put together, but it sure is worth all the effort.
- 2 Cups coarsely torn sourdough bread
- 6 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
- Salt to taste-
- 3 Tbsp White balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 1 Garlic clove, finely grated
- 1/4 Tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 Fennel bulbs with fronds
- 3/4 Cup torn mint leaves
- 1/2 Lemon
- Half ball of fresh mozzarella
1. Preheat oven to 200 deg.
2. Place bread in baking tray. Drizzle bread with 3 Tbsp. oil; season with salt. Toss, squeezing bread with your hands to help it absorb as much oil as possible, until evenly coated. Season lightly with salt. Bake until croutons are deeply browned and very crisp, about 12–15 minutes. Let cool.
Meanwhile, combine vinegar, garlic, and red pepper flakes bowl. Let sit 10 minutes to let garlic mellow and flavour the vinegar.
Whisk 3 Tbsp. oil into vinegar mixture, then add croutons.
Remove stalks and fronds from fennel bulbs. Remove fronds from stalks and coarsely chop; thinly slice stalks. Place in a large bowl.
3. Cut fennel bulbs in half and thinly slice on a mandoline (if you have one you can thinly slice by hand).
4. Add to same bowl as dressing along with mint. Zest lemon half over salad, then squeeze in juice. Season with salt and toss to combine.
5. Add mozzarella and let marinate in the dressing for 10 minutes.
6. Top with croutons and drizzle lightly with olive oil.