Ever see a fennel bulb and think, oh my what the heck is that?
I had never seen on until recently. I knew of its flavor – but that was it, in fact I only knew vaguely of the flavor.
So, when I received one in my Bountiful Basket, I thought, “Hey, this is going to be the first thing I use.”
Now a traditional Sicilian Salad obviously changes from cook to cook. In its most basic form, it consists of blood oranges, fennel, extra virgin olive oil and some sea salt. My version includes some salty kalamata olives to pair with the extra sweet blood orange, along with some freshly cracked pepper. This side dish is a perfect palate cleanser when paired with a heavy red meat. It is also a tasty salad served at brunch. It will always impress.
There are only four ingredients, but never skimp on their quality. This simple recipe takes only minutes to prepare.
Blood oranges are my obsession at the moment. They are a little bit sweeter than a regular orange, and also have more of a berry flavor. Like any orange, cut away the bitter skin and slice into segments. The red juice of dark red oranges will stain so be careful to wear an apron.
Fennel like most other vegetables should be firm, stiff and crisp. The feathery fronds ought to be bright green and soft. Fat bulbs are sweeter, tastier and much more fibrous that skinny bulbs.
Use excellent olives, as they are a 1/3 of the salad’s flavor.
With cooking, I always choose a rich, fragrant extra virgin olive oil. They can be pricey, so buy small bottles until you find your perfect match. Remember EVOO can go rancid, so you never want to buy too large of a bottle at one time.
This salad is a great lunch meal too. Eating both servings puts you at around 300 calories! Add a piece of grilled chicken and you have a meal!
Fennel and Blood Orange Salad
Serves 2; 148 calories each serving
- 1 fennel bulb, sliced thinnly
- 1 & 1/2 blood oranges, peeled & sliced thinly
- kalamata olives, cut in half
- 1 tablespoon EVOO
- Freshly cracked black pepper and salt
Combine fennel, EVOO, the juice of 1/2 a blood orange juice, salt and pepper and olives.
Toss coating well. Place on a serving tray, top with oranges and a few feathery fronds. Enjoy!