Orange Fennel Salad
March is peak season for oranges! They were piled high at Whole Foods Market this morning and inspired this dish. Fennel has the crunch of cabbage but the light fresh flavor of anise or licorice. It is traditionally paired with orange and if you try this four ingredient dish you will understand why it is a classic. I use this salad to moisten a pan seared turkey cutlet, grilled sliced chicken breast, a skewer of shrimp, or a roasted or pan sauteed salmon or halibut fillet. It also dresses a simply seasoned and pan crisped slice of firm tofu. It's a plate of perfect juicy crispness to enjoy for an afternoon treat or first course. This dish can also be served as Orange Fennel Salsa by chopping the orange, fennel, onion, and green fronds and tossing with the olive oil and seasonings in a medium bowl to combine. Spoon over grilled chicken or fish.
- 2 large navel oranges or tangelos
- One small sweet onion, peeled and sliced
- One medium bulb of fennel
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of smoked paprika or chipotle powder (optional but amazing!)
- Cut off both ends of orange just far enough to expose the flesh, Stand orange on flat end to steady and cut away the peel in strips - cut away as little of the peel as possible by following the orange's shape.
- Remove any white remaining so orange is peeled and clean. Cut crosswise into ⅓ inch rounds and arrange on platter - reserving one slice for juice. Arrange layer of sweet onion rings.
- Remove outer layer of fennel, cut in half and remove v-shaped core. Chop fennel and measure about one cup into a small bowl. Squeeze small amount of juice from ends of orange and the reserved slice (squeeze with your hands) over the fennel, Season with salt and pepper - and smoked paprika or chipotle if you have it, toss with the olive oil, pile in the center of the platter of orange and onion rings and garnish with about ¼ cup of the green fennel fronds.
Serving size: Serves 2 as a salad - 4 as a salsa or topping