A simple fennel slaw for summer

With few ingredients and no cooking, this is the perfect side dish for that summer picnic

Photo: Dianna Walla Fennel and red onion make a terrific complement to some pølser and an utepils.

Photo: Dianna Walla
Fennel and red onion make a terrific complement to some pølser and an utepils.

Dianna Walla
Tromsø, Norway

Sunny summer days in Norway are for savoring. Because the summer weather can be unpredictable, Norwegians take advantage of the sunshine whenever they can, soaking up long days of summer rays. Aside from hiking and swimming, dining is a favorite outdoor activity.

If you don’t have a yard or deck yourself, you can enjoy an utepils (a word which simply means a beer enjoyed outdoors) on a restaurant patio or pick up an engangsgrill (single-use grill) to take to the park. After your meal, the single-use grill can be deposited in a special container designed for their disposal, which most parks have since these grills are so popular.

Norway also plays host to an incredible number of outdoor music festivals during the summer all over the country, and I had the opportunity recently to attend a fairly new one in Oslo (in its third year) called Piknik i Parken. This relatively new festival combines music and food and it was the perfect way to enjoy a sunny summer day.

The festival describes itself as “Oslo’s biggest picnic.” The lawn outside the Vigeland Museum was lined with food carts from local restaurants, many of which focus on local and organic fare.

I picked a cart and ordered my food: sausages with potatoes, salad, and fennel slaw. The fennel slaw struck me as a pretty perfect summer side dish for any outdoor meal, so I decided to come up with a version of my own. This simple slaw recipe uses just a few ingredients and requires no cooking, so for the best results use the freshest ingredients you can find. It can also be sweetened with a little bit of honey, if desired.

Photo: Dianna Walla

Photo: Dianna Walla

Fennel Slaw
1 fennel bulb
1/2 a red onion
1 tbsp. chopped fresh dill
juice from one lemon
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and black pepper to taste

Thinly slice the fennel and the red onion and set aside. Combine lemon juice, olive oil, dill, salt, and pepper in a medium or large bowl. Add the fennel and onion and mix well. For best results let the slaw chill in the fridge for at least an hour or two before serving.

Dianna Walla is a writer and knitwear designer living and studying in Tromsø, Norway. She writes about baking at cakeand­vikings.com and about knitting at paper-tiger.net. Find her on Instagram at @cakeandvikings.

This article originally appeared in the July 15, 2016, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.