Orange & Fennel Salad

Orange & Fennel Salad from by Wawajeanne
Adapted roughly from Good Things Catered

A note on fennel: My husband informed me that fennel is the WORST VEGGIE EVER because essentially a mutant celery that tastes like black jelly beans. If you couldn’t guess, he hates both celery and black jelly beans.
Yes, fennel is licorice-y. Especially when freshly sliced it can be a little strong, but when combined with citrus and a yummy zippy vinaigrette it mellows out quite a bit and is very tasty. If you’ve never bought it before it’s the stuff that looks sorta celery-esque, but the leaves on top look like dill and the bottom has a big bulge. It’s usually near the beets and other not-so-popular veggies, and it’s frequently labeled as anise. It keeps really well in the fridge (which I know because i bought for something else, didn’t make that something and then let it hang out in the crisper for 2 weeks.)

Serves 2 people who love veggies or 4 not so big fans.

1 bulb fennel (mine was pretty big. If you have a little one you might need 2)
1/4 medium yellow onion (or red)
2 oranges (grapefruit would be good too. Or a mix)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar (can sub pretty much whatever vinegar you want, just not balsamic)
Salt + Pepper

Chop off the fennel fronds and slice the bulb in half. Make sure it’s nice and clean, sometimes dirt gets down in there. Cut out the solid core. (you don’t have to be too finicky about this part. Just get the bulk of it)
Slice thinly. I used a mandoline and really got it paper thin, but a knife is fine.
Slice onion thinly.
Combine fennel and onion in a medium sized bowl.
Zest one of the oranges and then supreme both of them, catching any juice you loose in a small bowl.
(supreming being the fancy way of segmenting an orange by cutting off all the skin and then cutting the flesh away from the membrane. It’s actually really easy and there are good instructions here. or search youtube if you like to see video.)
Squeeze the remaining membrane above your juice bowl (just squish it in your fist) to get the rest of the juice out.
Add zest, vinegar and salt and pepper to orange juice.
Pour in olive oil while whisking to make vinaigrette. (feel free to adjust acid to oil ratio. I like my salads a little acidic)
Pour dressing over fennel+onions and toss well.
Add pretty orange segments and toss really lightly to avoid mutilating the oranges.

If you want to make it pretty you could arrange the dressed fennel and onion on a platter and artfully scatter the oranges over it and then garnish with fennel fronds. I just shoved it in a bowl and then ate it while watching re-runs of Bones so I didn’t bother.

This would make a killer side dish for salmon.


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