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Grilled Fennel, Walnut, Cherry Tomato Salad with Fresh Turmeric Aioli

Course: Salad


  • 1 large fennel
  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes; halved keep a few whole for aesthetic purposes
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • Parmigiano Reggiano Parmesan block
  • 1 cup rocket leaves
  • Macrobiotic sea salt to season (use regular salt if this is not available)
  • Freshly milled black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Fennel fronds to garnish

Fresh turmeric aioli, to dress the salad

  • To make fresh turmeric aioli:
  • ½ inch fresh turmeric root
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt to season
  • Vegetable oil at least 2-3 cups


To prepare the aioli:

  • In a food processor, add the egg yolk and squeeze in juice from half a lemon. Season with salt.
  • Blitz the mixture and add oil slowly through the top to start the emulsification process.
  • As the mixture starts to emulsify and thicken, add a pinch of grated fresh turmeric. Blitz with more oil till desired consistency is achieved.
  • Taste and adjust; if less tangy add more lemon juice. If you feel that the turmeric flavour is not coming through, then add a pinch more and blitz for a few seconds. Taste and repeat if necessary.
  • Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

To prepare the salad:

  • Remove the fronds from the fennel and keep aside (used later to garnish the salad). Cut the fennel bulb into medium thick slices.
  • Heat the grill to smoking hot. Brush the fennel slices lightly with olive oil and season with salt. Grill on high heat for a couple of seconds on either side to get a nice char but still retain the crispness of the fennel.
  • On the same grill, grill the tomatoes for a few seconds. We just need a blister on the tomatoes and do not want it to go mushy.
  • Slice the cucumbers using a mandolin or peeler to get thin strips.
  • Roast the walnuts in a pan; take care not to burn.
  • To assemble; place a handful of rocket leaves on a plate and line two slices of grilled fennel on top. Add a couple of cherry tomatoes and walnuts. Roll 1-2 cucumber slices and place it on the plate. Add 2-3 shavings of Parmesan and garnish with fennel fronds; then dress lightly with a few spoonfuls of turmeric aioli. Finally sprinkle the macrobiotic sea salt and black pepper on top.
  • It is not necessary to plate the salad in this manner; use your own creativity and I am sure you will come up with even better results.


Fresh turmeric has a very strong flavour which is why it must be added in extremely small quantities.