Fennel & Oranges: A match made in heaven!

One knows it is spring in Australia when the local specialty stores are flooded with the freshest of produce!
Here in Jakarta, many a times, one is starved of fresh ingredients especially fruits and vegetables. It was one of my lucky days when i visited KemChicks last week. I chanced upon fresh fennel and what a delicious salad it made….

I’ve grown up knowing fennel seeds & love their sweet flavour. (I even use them in my masala chai!) In fact, India produces a significant amount of fennel especially in the cooler north belt. What a pity though, that the use of fennel as a herb is hitherto under-explored.

Easy Fennel & Orange Salad
Easy Fennel & Orange Salad

I had only seen fennel and orange salad on Masterchef before and had failed to imagine the burst of flavour they could create. Here is a simple salad i tried my hands at, an Italian classic! If you have access to these ingredients, i urge you to give this a chance.

Easy Fennel & Orange Salad!
(Serving for 2)

Ingredients:

  • Oranges (preferably navel) – 2
  • Fennel bulb -1
  • Lemon juice – 1Tbsp
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Optional:

  • Black oil-cured olives
  • Red Onion (about a quarter)

Method:

  1. Peel & pith the oranges. Carefully take out the segments by slicing along each pith membrane. The aim is to get full slices of orange without pith or membrane. Collect the orange juices in a bowl, as it drips during cutting the segments.
  2. Prepare the fennel bulb by washing well & removing the outer 1-2 layers. Cut the bulb lengthwise into half & core. Proceed to finely slice the bulb crosswise.
  3. Make a quick dressing by mixing the olive oil, salt, pepper & the lemon juice.
  4. Mix the orange segments, fennel slices & dressing carefully in a bowl. Add the optional thinly sliced onion & olives, if using.
  5. Arrange the salad on a platter & enjoy!

Tips & Mistakes:

  • Do not try replacing green or non-oil cured olives in the above salad.  I would omit the olive altogether vs. replacing.
  • When buying fennel bulbs, look for bulbs which are heavy for their size. This will ensure you buy the freshest! 🙂

Fennel & orange is really a match made in heaven!

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