Fennel, Apple & Asparagus Salad w/ Avocado Citrus Crema

by Kiran on April 3, 2012 · 51 comments

in Salads, Sides, Vegetarian

Good day!!!

Should I rant about how its April already or just celebrate the joy that it’s my birthday this coming Friday? 😉

I choose rant.

And it has nothing to do with the month of April, or how Spring seems to escape faster than a bullet train, or why I am prepared to be miserable with the fact that it’s my 33rd year on this earth.

Nope. Nothing as mentioned.

It’s something to do with a recent incident in a restaurant.

Being a Hindu means not eating beef at any cost. I wouldn’t say that we are religious. Not even in our furthest imagination. But cow’s are the primary source for other food sources, i.e milk etc.

So, why am I lecturing you on cow/beef/religion?

It has come to our knowledge that our recent palate was tainted with beef. We were dining at a famous restaurant conglomerate and that’s where all hell broke loose!

After consuming almost 90% of lunch, there it sat almost mocking us — a piece/hunk of beef. We were assured its beef by the manager on duty.

*faint* *recovered* *disbelief*

We were shocked!!! Above all, we were shaken by our core beliefs. It might sound like a small mistake, but this could have been easily avoided if there were proper buffet-style practices in place.

Or the server could have taken a little more time in assembling food gently instead of rushing through our orders, HAPHAZARDLY!

Mistakes can always happen and I hope we can forget this incident over time.

Most Hindus respect the cow as a matriarchal figure for its gentle qualities and providing nurturing milk and its products for a largely vegetarian diet. It holds an honored place in society, and it is part of Hindu tradition to avoid the consumption of beef.Yahoo

So, what does beef have in common with this recipe?


And why am I lecturing you on this?

Because that’s what you get, reading this blog. Authenticity, cribbing, annoying and ranting 24×7.

Do me a favor, get a mandolin and make a beautiful & healthy salad for you and your family while I console myself from the recent incident.

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe


  • ice bath (water, lemon juice and ice in a large non-reactive bowl)
  • 1 fennel bulb, cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 2 small apples, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1.5 cups asparagus, sliced diagnolly

Avocado citrus crema

  • 1 very ripe avocado
  • 1/2 blood orange, zest & juiced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Garnish: chopped walnuts and fennel fronds.


  1. Prepare an ice bath. Squeeze some lemon juice and keep aside.
  2. Using a mandolin, thinly slice fennel and apples. Gradually add each slices into the ice bath to avoid browning.
  3. Prepare citrus crema by combining all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until smooth.
  4. To assemble salad: Add all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl, add citrus crema and mix just until combined. Or plate the salad and crema separately.
  5. Serve topped with chopped walnuts and fresh fennel fronds.


Off to face-time with my sister and gossip! Don’t tell me you never do that 😉

Do you have any food restrictions or religious food beliefs besides the usual (gluten free, vegetarian etc)?


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Comments on this entry are closed.

1 Rosa April 3, 2012 at 12:41 PM

I’m sorry to hear that you got served beef… 🙁

That salad is wonderful! I love fennel. As A matter of fact, I ate some for supper.

Lovely clicks!



2 the wicked noodle April 3, 2012 at 1:37 PM

I’m sorry to hear about your bad experience. That’s terrible.

On the bright side, your salad looks amazing!!
the wicked noodle recently posted..Hash Brown Quiche with Asparagus & Swiss {easter recipe}

3 Alison @ Ingredients, Inc April 3, 2012 at 3:05 PM

These are some of my favorite ingredients! Bookmarked!
Alison @ Ingredients, Inc recently posted..Travel Tuesday Vacation Destination: Sandestin A to Z

4 cassie April 3, 2012 at 3:29 PM

I’m all over this avocado crema, sounds lovely with the citrus and salad flavor combos!

5 Juliana April 3, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Oh Kiran, sorry to hear about the incident…
The salad looks and sounds delicious, a nice combination of flavors and textures.
Hope you are having a wonderful week 🙂
Juliana recently posted..KUMQUAT PRESERVE

6 Alyssa @ Everyday Maven April 3, 2012 at 5:10 PM

Kiran, That is horrible! I hope the company addresses their serving practices accordingly. As for me, I don’t eat Pork. It’s a pretty easy one to avoid. Happy Birthday Week!
Alyssa @ Everyday Maven recently posted..The Food Matters Project: Three Bean + Chicken Sausage Cassoulet

7 nancy at good food matters April 3, 2012 at 5:36 PM

You balanced out that nasty experience with this lovely salad. I love fennel shaved thinly, and that avocado-citrus crema must be heavenly.

Have a happy birthday!
nancy at good food matters recently posted..Banana Boston Cream Pie

8 Biana | Meal Planning Tips April 3, 2012 at 6:45 PM

Sorry to hear about the restaurant experience 🙁

The salad looks fabulous – fresh, crunchy, delicious, everything that a spring salad should be!
Biana | Meal Planning Tips recently posted..Buckwheat Salad With Grape Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Onions, Dill, Parsley

9 Ina gawne April 3, 2012 at 9:01 PM

Kiran – sorry to hear of your `beef` mishap! I can so relate…one crumb of gluten cross contamination and I am sick for 4 days!
Your salad looks lovely…and Happy Birthday to you on Friday! Mine is tomorrow the 4th – us Aries are damn fine cooks don`t you think!
Ina gawne recently posted..CHINESE ALMOND CHICKEN

10 Ina gawne April 3, 2012 at 9:05 PM

Ohhh, almost forgot…I made your luscious avocado brownies gluten free! They were great – will do a post tomorrow with a link back to you – thank you! 🙂
Ina gawne recently posted..CHINESE ALMOND CHICKEN

11 Donna April 3, 2012 at 9:15 PM

Kiran at some point in our lives we all go through mis-haps but if you hear mine you can feel better. We are in Hong Kong and on our return trip to the hotel 2:30 in the morning (we were sight-seeing the whole day) we are hungry so we go to this little cafe and we order a soup ans as usual I am famshed and cannot wait to dig into what comes first on the table. Soup and I am like Yum! Yum!……My hubbys best friend who is Chinese comes in and tell him i thought you said your wife is squimish! Yes, she is extremely squimish replies my hubby. Donot tell her she is having pig’s blood in that soup. You cannot even imagine what I went thru ..even a tongue transplant would not have helped me at that moment. Till today just the thought of that makes me sick!!!!!!!

12 NikS April 3, 2012 at 10:00 PM

Sorry to hear about your experience but I do hope you have a wonderful birthday. The salad is delicious and has all of my favorite fruits and vegetables! As always great photographs
NikS recently posted..dry mango spiced pulled pork sliders with cumin and lime coleslaw

13 vianney April 3, 2012 at 10:07 PM

I am so sorry Kiran. Happy pre bday wishes, hugs!! What a stunning salad… I would love a huge plate of this with my dinner. We are in lent season until after easter (no meat) so I can understand. Take care
vianney recently posted..Sopes

14 Bloggy April 3, 2012 at 11:32 PM

I am sorry to hear about this experience. I am a Hindu too and the same restrictions apply to me as well. Anyway leaving back the horror behind, your salad is super healthy and good and Happy Birthday in case I forget.
Bloggy recently posted..Quick Egg Curry in A Hurry

15 beti April 4, 2012 at 12:14 AM

that’s really shocking because it seems like you really respect your religion and it was a really bad desition from the ones of the restaurant, but I hope you will forgive them 🙂 lovely salad! looks really fresh
beti recently posted..Strawberry Sorbet

16 Lubna Karim April 4, 2012 at 2:16 AM

That’s terrible to hear that you got served beef without u r knowledge…..advance b’day wishes to you dear……salad looks vibrant and colorful…..perfect for a sunny day…..
Lubna Karim recently posted..Guest Blogging – Food Photography #12

17 Margarita April 4, 2012 at 4:21 AM

Yikes… sorry about what happened. 🙁 But thank you for this delicious spring salad! It looks so refreshing! Something that takes away the frustrations of a bad day!
Margarita recently posted..Cassoulet with Lots of Vegetables

18 Sophie April 4, 2012 at 4:57 AM

Your birthday is this Friday & my birthday is this Saturday, April the 7th! Yeah: 36 years old, already! Happy Birthday! Yeah!

What a stunning & tasty Spring like salad! I love my salads like this tasty one!
Don’t forget about the award that I gave you redently! Here is the link:
Sophie recently posted..Vegetarian mushrooms & nuts burgers

19 tania@mykitchenstories April 4, 2012 at 5:19 AM

You are quite obviously distressed and that is a real breach of trust, awful for you.
I hope that you will be yourself by the time it is your birthday! I love fennel and apple together and avocado pureed together with anything is simply heavenly
tania@mykitchenstories recently posted..Chocolate and Salted Caramel Tarts

20 chinmayie @ love food eat April 4, 2012 at 7:25 AM

oh oh… I am so sorry! I know what that feels like 🙁 I once had Tandoori Fish )I am vegetarian) which was served as Tandoori Panner!! Of course I realized it was fish as soon as i took a bite but i had to drink several glasses of water after that.
Salad looks really lite and refreshing.
chinmayie @ love food eat recently posted..How to eat Indian Gooseberries/Amla/Nellikai

21 Cher April 4, 2012 at 7:53 AM

I am very sorry to hear of your mishap. People in foodservice should definitely be more cognizant of what is in their offerings; & if a particular food consideration is brought forward, they should be able to provide honest feedback (and correct execution) of how they handle their food items. You deserve your rant…
Happy Birthday! And a very lovely salad. Perfect for spring.
Cher recently posted..Where’s the Yeast? (TWD Baking w/Julia: Pizza Rustica

22 Rikki April 4, 2012 at 11:22 AM

This salad looks incredibly beautiful, so light and delicious! And those apple slices look perfect. My birthday is very close to yours! [:
Rikki recently posted..Almond Lavender Cake

23 Kitchen Belleicious April 4, 2012 at 2:57 PM

that salad looks so refreshing and wonderful! A plate of amazing flavors!

24 Russell at Chasing Delicious April 4, 2012 at 4:24 PM

Happy early birthday!! And what a scrumptious salad. Yum!
Russell at Chasing Delicious recently posted..Blackberry & Mint Brownie Parfait

25 Honey What's Cooking April 4, 2012 at 4:32 PM

omg, you have to be kidding me! You and I have some kind of telepathy going on. This was my exact question today… well maybe not food restrictions, but food allergies, close enough. I wrote about how I’m allergic to apples and I see an apple in your first picture. LOL!
OMG, the avocado citrus dressing sounds insanely good.. you’re brilliant for adding orange citrus instead of lime.
I understand your issues with beef, I don’t eat beef either.. it grosses me out.. but I do eat a burger at In-N-Out if I’m in california. 🙁
Honey What’s Cooking recently posted..Apple Pecan Pie Oatmeal

26 Sara {OneTribeGourmet} April 4, 2012 at 5:01 PM

I’m so sorry to hear about the unfortunate incident. {hugs}
Kiran, you always have amazing salad recipes that makes me want to go out and buy ton of produce and make this delish salad!
Sara {OneTribeGourmet} recently posted..My Trip to Cairo, Egypt & An Egyptian Spiced Dukkah Eggplant Fries

27 Feast on the Cheap April 4, 2012 at 5:39 PM

What a fresh, lovely spring salad. I’m not typically a huge fan of fennel – something about the licorice taste – but I do actually like it in fresh salads like this (versus roasted and infused in dishes that way). I definitely wanna give this a whirl…if for nothing else than to try that avocado citrus crema…
Feast on the Cheap recently posted..Asparagus Galette with Gruyere Cheese

28 Simply Life April 4, 2012 at 7:00 PM

so sorry to hear about the incident- I hope the restaurant responded appropriately!

..and wow, this salad is just gorgeous!
Simply Life recently posted..Easter Traditions: Asparagus, Mushroom and Swiss Crepes

29 Ann April 4, 2012 at 10:08 PM

I am SO sorry that happened….. The salad is stunning, tho!
Ann recently posted..Easy & Tasty….The Sgt. Chesty of Casseroles!

30 Deeps @ Naughty Curry April 5, 2012 at 2:58 AM

aw man, thats horrible! reminds me of this one incident at P F Chang’s where we were served shrimp (we are vegetarians by choice)… thankfully we realized it was seafood before tasting.. so sorry bout the terrible experience
Deeps @ Naughty Curry recently posted..Mushroom Feta Tarts- DHSP Challenge # 7

31 Nami | Just One Cookbook April 5, 2012 at 3:57 AM

Hi Kiran,

Oh no… I am so sorry to hear you had such a bad experience with the restaurant. I don’t have any food restriction but I try to avoid junk food… now trying to control portion. I love fennel but never had it raw before. Love your refreshing salad like this. Totally nice cleansing feeling!
Nami | Just One Cookbook recently posted..Flambéed Pear Purses with caramel sauce and ganâche – Guest Post by Five Euro Food

32 Nash at Plateful April 5, 2012 at 8:53 AM

We had almost a similar experience in Thailand, with pork, so I totally understand how you must have felt! Anyways, enjoy forget the incident and enjoy your b’day–Happy Birthday! Salad looks so fresh and healthy, love it.
Nash at Plateful recently posted..Pineapple Passion Chiller with Curried Chickpeas Salad — Guest Post for Flavour Fiesta

33 easyfoodsmith April 5, 2012 at 10:28 AM

I can understand your feelings on eating beef. It happened with us too while we were on our holiday to Europe. We too chose to forget the event and move on 🙂
The salad looks great and very refreshing.
easyfoodsmith recently posted..NIMKI/ NAMAK PARÉ/ MATHRI (Savoury Indian Stick Crackers)

34 Divya Yadava April 5, 2012 at 10:58 AM

So sorry to hear about the beef incident. I’d be pretty mad and would rant too!

The salad looks refreshing. I love sliced fennel and pairing it with apple and asparagus sounds like a great idea.
Divya Yadava recently posted..Curried Chickpeas Salad and Pineapple Passion Chiller with Nashira

35 Asmita April 5, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Hi Kiran,
So sorry to hear that you got served beef. That must have been pretty upsetting.
I just love any kind of non-vegetarian food. So when people ask me are you vegetarian? I always tell them I am a 100% non-vegetarian.
Your salad looks awesome. Love the fennel and asparagus.
Asmita recently posted..Fresh Blueberry Sauce

36 Asmita April 5, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Happy birthday in advance. Hope you have a great day Kiran.
Asmita recently posted..Fresh Blueberry Sauce

37 Robert Richards Recipes April 5, 2012 at 1:56 PM

You are a talented person to come up with a recipe like this one. I’m so happy you decided to share it with the world. 😀

38 NikS April 5, 2012 at 4:21 PM

Congratulations on the Saveur 2012 nomination!
NikS recently posted..rose and almond pot de creme

39 Ira Rodrigues April 6, 2012 at 12:02 AM

Its your Paneer Tikka Pizza and Congratulation on the award nomination of “Best recipe, sweet and savory” at the SAVEUR!
Ira Rodrigues recently posted..Balinese White Mango, Wani Bali

40 Sommer@ASpicyPerspective April 6, 2012 at 10:05 AM

So, so pretty! This is perfect for Easter brunch. 🙂
Sommer@ASpicyPerspective recently posted..Truffle Parmesan Biscuits with Pesto and Prosciutto

41 Sammie April 6, 2012 at 4:00 PM

I love reading your rants and don’t find it annoying at all! Not sure if some of it was meant for comedic purposes but it was definitely an entertaining read from a great writer! Anyway, hopefully that doesn’t happen again in the future! I know in certain countries servers would be more sensitive and culturally aware of such situations! For example in Indonesia, you should never serve pork to a Muslim. It’s something that everyone knows! But I guess in North America, where a lot of cultures come together, we’re still working on learning about each others’ beliefs and practices! haha.. On a lighter note…… Happy Birthday to you!! I hope you have a wonderful Easter too!! Love.
Sammie recently posted..8-Layered Double-Crusted Red Velvet Cheesecake

42 Jeanette April 6, 2012 at 9:45 PM

What a pretty spring salad, light and bright! So sorry to hear about your experience eating out.
Jeanette recently posted..Cold Asian Noodles with Peanut Sauce, Chicken and Vegetables Recipe – Harumi Kurihara – 50 Women Game Changers In Food

43 Barbara | Creative Culinary April 8, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Bad incident aside…this salad is lovely and I’m in the mood for salad; so thanks!
Barbara | Creative Culinary recently posted..The Best Mimosa Means Some Liqueurs Too!

44 Helene Dsouza I Masala Herb April 10, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Lovely salad with the avocado citrus crema, fits all flavourewise well together. After that restaurant story, you came up with such flavoures? hat off, madame. =)

45 Magic of Spice April 10, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Oh no, that is terrible! I am a vegetarian and have been almost my entire life…it freaks me out when something like that happens 🙁 This salad on the other had is just delightful…and so pretty 🙂
Magic of Spice recently posted..Food Photography "A Perspective"~ Food Styling with Nancy Lopez-McHugh

46 Terra April 11, 2012 at 10:33 PM

First, I am glad I met you through Masala Herb, your blog is gorgeous! I really don’t have anything I don’t eat, that being said, I could and would NEVER eat cat, dog, or horse when visiting other countries. I really don’t eat much meat, and think about going vegetarian a lot. I have a mandolin, and love each element of your salad! I am so excited our farmers market opened this month! Take care, Terra
Terra recently posted..Time To Celebrate With Cake – Roasted Pear & Pecan Coffee Cake

47 myfudo April 12, 2012 at 10:55 AM

I agree that restaurants should have proper buffet-style practices…I am just curious, what do you do when something like this happens? I have an Arab friend who when he was accidentally served pork (and he unknowingly ate it), went on fasting for a day to have himself cleansed…I am not sure if all of them do, or if it is just a personal practice of my friend. How about you? Do you have the same practice? I am glad to learn more about the Hindu culture. One of the many reasons why I love your site…What is the best way to learn more about a culture, but through the cuisine, right?
By the way, this dish is really great! Hugs!
myfudo recently posted..appetizers & recipes: hors d’oeuvres: oysters

48 Nava Krishnan April 13, 2012 at 9:12 AM

Thats a simple and wonderful salad, just that fennel is so difficult to come by over here.
Nava Krishnan recently posted..Restaurant Saravanaa Bhavan (Jalan Gasing) Petaling Jaya

49 Christy @ Confessions of a Culinary Diva April 25, 2012 at 6:58 PM

This looks terrific! Will be trying this!

50 Mary @ Fit and Fed May 14, 2012 at 6:12 PM

Hi Kiran,

I find that major chains are poor at accommodating special diets. I try to go to restaurants where it’s possible to communicate with the chef– if I’m bringing someone with a lot of food sensitivities I’ll call in advance. For me, besides not eating land animals, I can’t have oranges or peanuts. I’m not always as careful as I could be about asking about whether there are oranges or peanuts in every food item, sometimes they are in things I don’t expect and I get burned.
Mary @ Fit and Fed recently posted..Mother’s Day Picnic Salad with Pea Shoots and Grilled Asparagus

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