Raw fennel adds great flavor to salads like the Brisket and Root Vegetable Salad, but if it’s too thickly sliced, it can be fibrous and tough to eat. By shaving fennel into very thin slices, you can showcase its best attributes—a mild licorice-like flavor and crisp texture. Fortunately, you don’t need perfect knife skills to produce thin slices of fennel. The mandoline (or hand slicer) and the vegetable peeler can do it for you.
|Mandoline or hand slicer
Choose the thinness of the fennel shavings by adjusting the blade of the mandoline or hand slicer. Trim the base of the fennel bulb and then halve and core it. Position one fennel half base side down on the mandoline or slicer. Using a fluid motion, slide the fennel back and forth across the blade, allowing the shavings to fall on the cutting board. Keep going until the fennel becomes difficult to hold.
Trim the base of the fennel and cut the bulb into quarters. Remove the core from each quarter. Holding a fennel quarter in one hand, run the peeler lengthwise down a cut side of the quarter. Continue to shave the bulb in this manner until it becomes difficult to hold.