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Italian Fennel and Orange Salad

Updated on December 8, 2013

I have only recently, in the past decade, been introduced to raw fennel. I am not sure why it took so long, living where I did in Little Italy! But once we discovered this fall treat, we began using it in everything from juice to salad. You can roast it, sautee it and add it to almost everything, it's unique licorice flavour is a welcome zing anywhere! This is one of our favourite recipes, all decked out for the holidays! We will be serving this with our Christmas Thai curry to counter the hot spice!

  • Prep time: 30 min
  • Cook time: 30 min
  • Ready in: 1 hour
  • Yields: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 bulbs fresh fennel
  • 3 (or more if small) fresh real Japanese mandarin oranges (or tinned in a pinch)
  • 1/2 - 1 cup dried cranberries
  • Dressing:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • heaping teaspoon dried oregano
  • pinch sea salt
  • fresh pepper to taste
  • 1 - 2 Tbsp wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp french mustard ie: Maille
  • Alternate toppers include:
  • fresh parmesan cheese
  • roasted slivered almonds
  • crumbled feta cheese
  • fresh or dried blueberries

Instructions

  1. Wash the fennel and cut off the green tops, we only want the white bulb at the bottom for this. (I usually put the tops in the fridge and use them next time I make juice in the juicer, they add a nice amount of flavour and liquid).
  2. Section the oranges and remove any seeds (There shouldn't be any I don't think, but check).
  3. Slice the fennel bulbs into slices, about the same size and length of your finger.
  4. Toss fennel and orange together with cranberries in a nice bowl.
  5. To prepare the dressing, mix the final ingredients in a jar and give it a good shake.
  6. Add dressing to salad, toss, cover and refrigerate until needed.
  7. If you can give this a bit of extra time to marinate it will be even more lovely, but if in a hurry, 30 minutes will do.
  8. Add any toppers you like, or none at all, it is already pretty fancy!
  9. Serve as a side or after supper.
  10. This is also great and very refreshing in the summer if made with regular navel oranges and I like to add walnuts!
Portmeirion Sophie Conran White Large Salad Bowl
Portmeirion Sophie Conran White Large Salad Bowl

This salad looks really pretty served in a white or blue dish!

 
Eden Organic Dried Cranberries, 4-Ounce Pouches (Pack of 5)
Eden Organic Dried Cranberries, 4-Ounce Pouches (Pack of 5)

We use these in everything from squash soup (Yes - try it!) to granola and oatmeal or just straight out of the bag.

 
Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking
Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

I wish I had known about fennel sooner, but so glad I found about it and all it's uses now!

 

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    • JennAshton profile image
      Author

      Jenn Ashton 3 years ago from Canada

      @winter aconite: Same! Not sure how I managed to go so long without it!

    • winter aconite profile image

      winter aconite 3 years ago

      such a lovely recipe...i love fennel!!!!!

    • JennAshton profile image
      Author

      Jenn Ashton 3 years ago from Canada

      @ecogranny: Oh yes do try! I have found another great fennel recipe I'm going to make a lens on as well - watch for it! Yum!

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 3 years ago from San Francisco

      That recipe sounds so refreshing and delightful, and with all the good looking fennel in my local fresh grocer, I must pick some up and give it a try. Thank you, thank you!