Citrus, Fennel & Nut Salad

Citrus season is in full swing here in California and there is no day where I don't take advantage of that. I not only love the taste of all the citrus fruits, but I also adore looking at them and those vibrant colours always put me in a really good mood. Blood oranges are my favourite since going to Spain for the first time in 2007. Tart and sweet at the same time can complement any dish really, but are the best when freshly squeezed for your morning juice on a Saturday. I am very happy that I get to live in California and have them everywhere around me at this time of the year.

Last week I made an orange cake which was amazing. This week, I wanted to go more savoury and prepared this salad. I adore the combination of a slightly raspberry tart flavour of the blood orange, the sweetness of the navel orange and the mild licorice taste of the fennel. I was so happy with it, I made it twice in a row, because I just didn't have enough of it.
This salad is just beautiful on every level; it's crunchy, it's sweet and it could be a painting!

Ingredients (2 - 4 servings):
  • 1 small blood orange
  • 1 small navel orange
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 large fennel
  • 2 cups of mixed greens
  • 10 pecans
  • salt, pepper and olive oil to taste

You can either make this salad in a bowl, or arrange on a plate like I did. No matter what way, prepare your citrus and fennel first.

Slice a little of the top and bottom of the oranges. Place on a chopping board and, starting at the top, slice downwards following the curve of the fruit. Try to slice away just the peel and all the white bits without cutting away too much fruit. Continue until al the peel is gone. Chop both oranges into thick slices and put aside.

For the fennel, trim a little off the bottom to get rid of the tough bits. Peel off any wilted, old layers. If using knife, trim off the fennel stalks but if using mandoline, leave them as they will make the job easier for you. Shave the fennel into thin slices. If you are using knife for that, it might be easier if you slice the fennel crosswise before shaving. 

Roast the pecans.

Once you've got your ingredients prepped, arrange the greens on a plate or place in a bowl. Cover with fennel and add some salt and pepper to taste. As I don't like using dressings that much, I sprinkle the veggies with about 1 tbsp of lemon juice (or any citrus) and drizzle just a tiny bit of olive oil on top. Arrange the slices of fruit on top and sprinkle with roasted pecans. If using a bowl, toss the salad gently and serve.

I have decorated the salad with the fennel fronds.



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