Sicilian fennel and orange salads are something to look forward to during the summer months. The best part is this salad can be served chilled making it a refreshing and healthy way to beat the heat and enjoy a light lunch.
Fennel and Orange Salad
Serves: 2-4 (medium portions)
- Fennel – 2-3 medium seize cleaned and tops (fronds) reserved
- Oranges – 2-3 segmented NO PITH! (Juice Reserved)
- Kalamata Olives – 15-20 olives pitted (mandatory) halved (if desired)
- Fennel seed – 2 teaspoons ( toasted)
- Mint – 8-10 fresh leaves…small to medium in size
- Lemon- Mint Vinaigrette – Recipe will follow below.
- Clean fennel removes any bruised parts, slice thin on slicer machine, mandolin, or Sharp chef’s knife. (slightly thicker than shaved)
- Reserve in cold acidulated water. (water with squeezed lemon juice added)can add some ice cubes(optional) Place in refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Don’t keep in water longer than one day!
- Segment the oranges with no seeds or pith. (save the juice)
- Pitt the olives if necessary(half if desired)
- Pick the fennel fronds, reserve in cold iced water till service along with the sliced fennel)
- Julian mint(with a clean dry knife, on a clean dry cutting board) reserve till service covered loosely with a slightly damp paper towel.
- Toast and lightly crush the fennel seeds(place in a cup and hold aside)
To Make the lemon-mint vinaigrette:
- 6 – tablespoons- honey
- 6 – lemons juiced
- 3/4c Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- One splash of white wine vinegar (more or less, to taste desire)
- Add any reserved orange juice
- Salt and white pepper to taste
Procedure for Vinaigrette:
- Mix honey with lemon and vinegar
- Slowly add the EVO. (using a Wisk or via a blender drizzling the oil in slowly while the machine is running on slow-medium speed)
- Season – with kosher salt, fresh cracked white pepper, and sugar to taste.
- Be careful with the sugar use it sparingly! You do not want a sweet vinaigrette. You want a balanced vinaigrette. Lightly sweet is key!
Procedure for Serving:
1) Place fennel in mixing bowl
2) Add all of the ingredients to the mixing bowl except the toasted crushed fennel seeds and fronds.
3) Mix or shake vinaigrette well, then add a liberal amount to the bowl and toss gently as to mot break the orange segments to bits.
4) Taste and season with fresh cracked white pepper and Kosher salt. (go easy on the Salt and Pepper)
5) Plate fennel salad on chilled plates disbursing the oranges and olives evenly amongst the servings.
6) Garnish the top of the salad with the fennel fronds, and sprinkle a pinch or two of the crushed toasted fennel seeds over the salad, and serve.
“We just came out of a heat wave here in the NYC area. This salad served chilled with one or two grissini on the side, accompanied with a very chilled glass of your favorite white wine is a perfect light lunch during the mid summer heat!”