Orange Fennel Salad

Delicate fennel and sweet oranges go well together to make a very refreshing, light salad. If you like onions, go ahead and add some thinly sliced red onions or some chopped scallion greens. We prefer ours without onions.

Chill for 2 to 8 hours hours for the flavors to blend and the fennel to become crispy tender. The orange juice, lemon juice and salt will “cook” the fennel by softening it but it will still retain a crisp texture.

It takes me about 7-8 minutes to slice the fennel and to “supreme” the oranges. This time varies upon how anyone handles a knife–do not rush the process! After the slicing, it is just mixing.

Ingredients

Salad

  • 3 cups of very thinly sliced fennel (remove tough stems, tough core, shave tough leaves with a potato peeler and save some fronds–one medium to large bulb of fennel) plus chopped tender fronds and stems
  • 1 1/2 cups of orange slices or segments (3-4 medium navel oranges and remember to squeeze the juice from the membranes in the mixing bowl
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon good honey that you like (or more to taste and depending on how flavorful the oranges are–can also use brown sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil

Steps

  1. Toss everything in a mixing bowl. Taste and adjust if needed. Chill for at least 3 hours. Is great the next day and keeps well for a couple days. The fennel will “wilt” but will be crispy tender.

Serves 4 one cup servings. Preparation time: 10-20 minutes.

Note

To prepare the fennel, the recipe is for one medium to large bulb, cut just below the stems. Discard tough stems and save the good fronds and tender stems. Cut a thin slice off the bottom to provide a stable base and the bottom is tough anyway. Now cut the fennel in half from top to bottom. Place the flat side of each half on the chopping board and cut in half again. Slice off the hard core and any tough parts from the bottom from each quarter. Now using a sharp knife (and minding your fingers) thinly slice the fennel. This should yield around 3 cups.

For the orange, the recipe calls for 2 large or 3 medium sized oranges. Any good orange will do. If using cara cara or blood oranges, more fruit will be needed as those oranges are quite small. I have used navel oranges. Slice the top and bottom of the oranges just enough so the inner fruit is visible. Place the orange on the chopping board so it is stable. Using a sharp paring knife, cut and slice the peel away just under the pith from top to bottom. If you miss something, it is fine. Cut all the way around. Now you can pick up the orange and flip it to cut any missed bits. Hold the orange with gentle firmness in the cup of your palm and use the knife to cut along the inside of segment membrane along the orange segment, all the way toward the core of the orange. Cut along the opposite membrane. You will have an orange segment. Cut all the rest like this. Squeeze the membranes of all the juice collecting it in the mixing bowl.

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