For the Dressing
Place the basil leaves, garlic, zest and vinegar in a blender. Slowly add the olive oil through the funnel and process until the basil is shredded, but not fully pureed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
For the Salad
Blanch the asparagus by bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add asparagus, all at once, cover pot and simmer 3 minutes. Strain asparagus and shock in ice water to cool quickly. Remove from ice water as soon as asparagus are chilled, dry and season with olive oil, salt and pepper. Reserve.
Halve fennel from top to bottom. Using the tip of your knife and standing the fennel half on the cutting board, remove the core of the bulb by making an upside down "V" cut. Using a mandolin or very sharp knife thinly shave the fennel bulbs. Place in a bowl and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
To compile the dish: Lightly coat the asparagus with some of the basil dressing and do the same with the fennel. Decoratively place asparagus on a platter or single plates and top with shaved fennel. Drizzle with more dressing and garnish with basil leaves.
Recipe provided by Chef Shellie Kark, Kitchencue
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