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Fennel Orange Salad

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Fennel Orange Salad

Photo © Molly Watson

This Fennel Orange Salad is a traditional Sicilian dish and a perfect palate-cleansing course after a heavy winter meal. I suppose the olives and mint are optional, but for the life of me I can't imagine why you'd leave either of them out.

Note: You can section the oranges and chop the olives ahead of time for quicker prep, if you like.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 heads fennel
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 24 oil-cured black olives
  • 6 large mint leaves
  • Salt to taste, if you like

Preparation:

  1. Trim the fennel, halve the bulbs, lay each half flat on a cutting surface, and slice crosswise as thinly as possible (you can also use a mandoline for this task). Lay the fennel slices on a single large platter or 4 to 6 individual salad plates.
  2. Section the oranges over a medium bowl. Squeeze out any juice from the remaining membrane into the bowl as well. Lay the sections over the fennel and sprinkle salad(s) with the juice.
  3. Drizzle salad(s) with the olive oil.
  4. Smash the olives with the flat of a large knife blade. Remove the pits, halve or roughly chop the olives, and sprinkle them over the salad(s).
  5. Lay the mint leaves in a stack and cut into ribbon-like shreds. Sprinkle over the salad(s).
  6. Sprinkle the salad(s) with salt, if you like, and serve more or less immediately.
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