A salad made almost entirely from contentious ingredients, this slaw could rankle many an eater: It features rock-hard nectarines, licoricey fennel, and widely resisted blue cheese. It’s also spicy, salty, and shalloty. If you are still reading: You made it! More for us. Feel free to substitute unripe peaches or even plums for the nectarines, or another soft herb, like parsley, for the fennel fronds.
- Thinly slice the shallot into rings and set aside. Trim the stalks and fronds from the fennel bulb, if there are any; coarsely chop enough fronds to get ¼ cup, then set aside. (Discard the rest of the stalks and fronds, or put them in the freezer and save them to make stock with.)
- Quarter the fennel bulb and remove the outermost layer; cut away the core from each wedge. Thinly slice the fennel quarters crosswise, then add to a medium bowl along with the shallot, white wine vinegar, salt, and chile flakes. Toss together, separating the shallot rings as you do, then gently scrunch the vegetables a few times with your hands-they should begin to soften somewhat almost immediately. Set aside.
- Cut the nectarines as you would an apple from its core, in four slices from top to bottom around the pit (you'll be left with rectangular blocks of pit plus a little bit of flesh-cook's treat). Thinly slice each piece of nectarine into planks, then stack a few of the planks at a time and slice again into matchsticks. Add sliced nectarines and the chopped fennel fronds to the bowl with the fennel and shallot; toss to combine.
- Add the crumbled blue cheese and toss to combine once more. Taste, adjust seasonings, and serve immediately. This salad will keep, refrigerated in an airtight container, up to overnight.
Caroline Lange is a writer and cook living in Brooklyn, NY.