Mortadella and fennel salad / Jason Lowe
Serves 4

I always used to think that mortadella was one of those cheap Italian sausages – like luncheon meat – that you put in sandwiches.

And I suppose there are indeed some poor-quality ones that fit that bill, but over the years I've tasted a few very good ones that have totally changed my view of the sausage.

Today, I'm very happy to eat it as a starter all on its own.

12 or so slices of good-quality mortadella

For the fennel salad

1 bulb of fennel, quartered and very thinly sliced (a mandolin is perfect for this), plus any green tops
1 small red onion, peeled, halved, root removed and very thinly sliced
2tbsp cider vinegar
2tbsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix all of the ingredients together for the fennel salad in a non-reactive bowl; season to taste. Cover and leave to marinate for an hour.

To serve, arrange the mortadella on a large serving dish or individual plates with the fennel and a little of the marinade spooned over the top.