Whew, can you believe it? Two "healthy" posts in a row? It must be January.
Contrary to what it may seem, I resolved to have no resolutions this year. We rang in the new year upstate, where the snowy, barren landscape was a shocking contrast to the green summers. We still managed to shoot clays and get outside for a refreshing hike, though, which yielded us almost 20 pounds of Chaga. (I've been brewing lots of tea with our find, although if anyone has any other suggestions as to what to do, I'm all ears).
Anyway, I first had a version of this salad several years ago, and I don't remember much except that I didn't care for it. As a generally non-picky eater, fennel falls on my short list of dislikes, but things must have changed because I am in love with this salad. It's crispy, sweet, and zingy - exactly what I crave in between the hearty stews and heavier food that winter brings. Blood oranges just appeared at my local Whole foods, so snatch them up while you can and serve this at your next dinner party.
Fennel and Blood Orange Salad (serves 4):
- 4-5 Blood oranges, peeled and sliced about 1/2 inch thick
- 1 Fennel Bulb
- 1/4 red onion
- 1/4 cup good olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon
- chopped roasted hazelnuts (optional)
- kosher salt, to taste
Using a mandolin, shave the fennel bulb into paper thin slices. I like to take the bottom piece off with a knife, and then use the top of the fennel bulb as a handle to run through the mandolin, and then manually remove any hard inner core pieces. Reserve the fronds as garnish. Squeeze the lemon juice on top of the fennel and give it a little toss.
Next, shave the red onion (only 1/4 of it) with the mandolin as well. Store it with the fennel and set aside.
Prepare the blood oranges by cutting away all peel and outer pith. Once this is done, slice the oranges in cross-sections about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch thick. Throw them into a bowl with the fennel and onion. Dress with 1/4 cup of good olive oil and add a hearty pinch of kosher salt. Toss it all together and taste. Add more salt or lemon juice, if necessary, and then add pinches of the fennel top fronds.
The salad stays well in the fridge for at least a couple of hours. If adding nuts, reserve these until right before serving.