This post is sponsored by Envy Apples. Thanks for supporting brands that make Zen & Spice possible!
Last month, my husband and I had the opportunity to visit a Central Market location here in Dallas for an apple-focused cooking class. I was super excited because it was our first night out of the house together after having the baby! My Aunt came over to watch Abbey while we escaped for a few hours and learned all about Envy apples.
Have you ever had an Envy apple? It’s actually a cross between a Braeburn and a Gala apple. It has a higher citric acid content, which prevents the browning enzyme from activating. This means Envy apples are very slow to brown, which makes them ideal for kids lunches, picnics, cheese boards, and salads!
Envy apples are naturally grown in Washington and New Zealand. You can find them at grocery stores nationwide including: Central Market, Whole Foods, King Soopers, Publix, IGA, Wegmans, Walmart and more.
The team of chefs at the Central Market cooking class were fantastic! First, they made a apple and blueberry baked oatmeal. It was topped with a 5% plain yogurt, which I thought was whipped cream! Next up, was the apple and fennel salad which I’ve featured in today’s post.
The chefs also made a butternut squash and Envy apple soup. This was my second favorite dish — it was so smooth and creamy and had an amazing sweet apple flavor. I couldn’t decide which dish I liked better– the fennel salad or this soup. I’ll have to remake the soup and post it here on the blog in the near future.
The chefs also made sheet pan roasted pork loin with Envy apples and onions. This dish had tons of black peppercorn and red pepper flakes, so it was quite spicy. But the sauteed onions and apples that sat on top helped bring down the level of spiciness.
We had so much fun at the class that I wanted to bring you one of my favorite recipes!
This fennel apple salad is everything you could want in a refreshing salad. Fennel is often forgotten about. It can be found year round in your specialty grocery stores like Sprouts, Central Market or Whole Foods. You simply shave it thinly on a mandolin, and it has a slightly sweet licorice taste that is quite refreshing.
The key to this salad is to make sure the fennel, apples, celery and parmesan are all shaved very thinly. This allows the vegetables to remain crispy but still have some give to them which makes them easier to eat. The dressing is simple: olive oil and lemon juice with a little salt and pepper.
I love baby arugula in this dish. It’s peppery, which pairs very well with the sweet apples and fennel. Don’t forget the toasted (or roasted) walnuts that go on top for that crunch factor.
Here’s the recipe! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Fennel Apple Salad with Walnuts
- 3 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 large fennel bulbs, thinly sliced on a mandoline
- 2 Envy Apples, halved and cored, thinly sliced on a mandoline
- 3 celery stalks, thinly sliced on a mandoline
- 1/3 cup Fennel Fronds
- 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
- 5 oz baby arugula
- 3 ounces parmesan, shaved with a vegetable peeler
In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, continuously whisking, until dressing is emulsified. Taste and add more lemon juice and salt if needed.
In a large bowl, toss the dressing and fennel, apple and celery. Fold in fennel fronds and walnuts. Top with parmesan just before serving.