Easy Entertaining Menu: Tropical Fennel Salad with a Dijon Mustard Grilled Trout and Green Beans

tropical fennel salad with green apple and ginger

This post was initially about a salad recipe. As I wrote it, the recipes of the dinner I cooked last night became a part of the story. This is a simple menu that you could serve when you have friends over. It is based on taste, lots of good taste. But what I like the most is that you will not pass all night on the kitchen. The ingredients are available at any grocery store. I find everything at the village; we stayed at the ski cottage this weekend. This makes it the ideal menu for stress-free entertaining.

Tropical Fennel Salad recipe

I ate the tropical fennel salad a few times this year. Every time, I adored it. It will become my signature salad for potlucks. You have to try it. I never meet anyone who did not like it. The recipe is from Élie Benchetrit, who hosts the cooking segment on On Est Ensemble. This is Web TV show where I host a design segment. Élie’s take on recipes is that recipes are meant to be shared. Therefore, I translate it for you.

Ingredients for the salad:

  • 2 fennel bulbs, shaved paper thin with a mandoline (otherwise, sliced it as thin as you can)
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple, peeled and sliced
  • 1 not too ripe Mango, peeled and sliced
  • 10 basil leaves to decorate and add taste

Ingredients for the vinaigrette:

  • 1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 French shallot, minced
  • 5 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper


  1. Put in a bowl or a large service platter, the sliced fennel, apple and mango.
  2. Whisk in a bowl all the ingredients to make the vinaigrette.
  3. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad. Mix. Cover with a plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. Before serving, top with the basil leaves.

The salad looks more appetizing with a green herb. One time, I forgot to buy fresh basil. I improvised and minced the thin fennel foliage instead. The taste was incredible, even without the basil. You can also minced both the fennel foliage and the basil leaves, like I did on my photo.

A Main Course in less than 20 minutes

The resting period of the salad gives you plenty of time to make the rest of your meal. I grilled a rainbow trout fillet that I served with boiled green beans. I add small pieces of butter on top the green beans, a dash of sea salt and pepper when I plate my dishes. You can do that directly on each plate.

I paired the meal with Les Jamelles Sauvignon Blanc, an affordable white wine that goes well with fish, citrus dishes and mixed salads. A good pairing tip is to match the tasting notes of the wine with ingredients from your meal. The Sauvignon Blanc from Les Jamelles displays fresh aromas of fruit passion, limes and blackcurrants.

My Dijon Mustard Grilled Trout recipe

My recipe for the the trout is super simple. I use the same recipe for salmon on the BBQ. Brush olive oil (about 1 tablespoon) on the skinless side of a fish fillet. Then, I spread Dijon mustard. Add a little bit of sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Grill in a pan at medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. While the fish is cooking, I spread Dijon mustard on the skin side. Return and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Check it as you do not wish to overcook your fish. The aim is that the fish is not fully cooked at the center. The heat will cook it after you remove it from the pan.