This combination is quite delicious: licorice-y fennel and spicy daikon. At first I thought it would be too much, two strong elements, but they co-exist nicely. The dressing is minimal, and serves to soften the edges, so to speak. Japanese turnips are a good sub for the daikon. If you want to go a more complementary route, try celeriac for the daikon. The ice water soak is optional, but it crisps the vegetables up nicely and also takes out a bit of daikon’s bite.
1 large fennel bulb, fronds trimmed and reserved
1 medium daikon
a bowl of ice water
5 T extra-virgin olive oil
2 T lemon juice or white wine vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
some reserved fennel leaves, finely chopped, for garnish
1. Cut fennel in half lengthwise and then thinly slice crosswise. Peel daikon, if you like, then halve, if necessary and thinly slice. Put cut vegetables into ice water as you work. Allow to stand for a total of 15 minutes, no longer, as they’ll start to get water logged. Drain and pat dry. Transfer to a serving bowl.
2. Combine the oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Pour over fennel and daikon and toss. Sprinkle with chopped fennel fronds.