Monday, April 12, 2010

Fennel be thy name - fennel, olive and orange salad

I've really only discovered fennel in the last year or 2. Before that, all I knew about it was that it had an aniseed flavour. Well after using it in a chowder and then having it in a salad at the wonderful restaurant, Blancmange, I was converted!
This beautiful looking salad is lovely with seafood it even dresses up a humble bbq chicken or just enjoy it on it's own. When the weather starts getting colder I always use citrus or lots of garlic or onion in my cooking. It just seems to work out that way.

Grab your platter or bowl or whatever you want to use to hold the salad. Now grab 2 fennel bulbs, (trimmed, reserving the fronds) chop into quarters and then cut very thinly. PLace on your platter. Very finely chop up 1/4 red onion and scatter over the fennel. Peel 2 oranges and slice them very thinly. Scatter them over the salad. Grab about a cup of pitted olives and throw them over the top. Now you are going to add some dressing. Drizzle over the salad: 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed orange juice; 3 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice; 5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper. Garnish with the reserved fronds. Best enjoyed at room temperature.

Now that was the recipe but I used much less onion as you can see from the pic and less olives. Also I couldn't get pitted olives so cutting them was a hassle as you do want to get a bit of everything on your fork! I also used alot less extra virgin olive oil; probably about 2 tablespoons in all. And make sure that the oil you do use is a very good one, it makes all the difference.

Just go along for the ride with your tastebuds. It's 'dolce e salata' heaven!

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