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Lufa Farms, with their awesome basket and marketplace programs, provides anyone who signs up with a basket of ingredients that are locally produced and at their flavour-packed prime. Gone are the days of weeping into your grocery-store salad because the tomatoes taste grainy and bland – Lufa Farms makes it easy to work with the seasons and eat what tastes wonderful now. Sign up here to get $15 off your first order! Use code “TheMain” when signing up.

This week, our Lufa Farms order included organic Cortland apples from Verger Maia, organic Spartan apples from Verger Biologique Maniadakis, organic Honeycrisp apples from Pomibec, Bartlett pears from Warner’s farm and unsweetened apple sauce made with Jersey Mac apples by Catherine Cafiti. So we’ll be having roasted salmon in spiced apple sauce on a bed of potatoes and apples with a fennel, pear and apple salad on the side.

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To go alongside our roasted salmon, I put together a simple, seasonal salad made with all local fruits and vegetables. Fennel, Bartlett pears and Honeycrisp apples are sliced thinly, and thrown together in a delicious heap. A sharp mustard vinaigrette is drizzled on top, and the whole dish is crowned with lovely fennel fronds. I made this dish several times last week, including once on its own with a side of extra-sharp cheddar, to rave reviews. When I ran out of apples, the dish worked beautifully with just fennel and pears. All in all, you couldn’t ask for a more refreshing fall salad.

Fennel, Pear and Apple Salad

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1 fennel head
juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 TBs olive oil
1/2 TB grainy mustard
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Wash apples, pears and fennel thoroughly. Thinly slice apples, pears and fennel (for a tutorial on how to slice fennel, check out this great tutorial by the New York Times’ Melissa Clark), saving the fronds for later.
In a glass mason jar, mix lemon juice, olive oil and mustard (notice that I’ve omitted the traditional sweetener in this vinaigrette – the apples and pears are going to give us all the sweetness we want, so I wanted to keep the sauce extra tart). Seal the jar and shake it well to emulsify the vinaigrette.
Heap your fennel slices on a large serving platter. Top with thinly sliced apples and pears. Drizzle all of your vinaigrette on top. Finally, cut your fennel fronds into small branches, and arrange them on top.
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Serve your fennel, pear and apple salad with roasted salmon in apple sauce, or just with good ol’ crusty sourdough and a hunk of sharp cheddar.