Fennel is a vegetable I never knew you could eat before I set foot in Italy about 20 + years ago. Where I grew up, the leaves were used to flavor food, but the bulb was never eaten. It was a revelation for my taste-buds! . I love the crunch of fennel when it's raw in a salad. Pair it with oranges, and maybe some walnuts, and you have a perfect side, or a great addition to a bbq meal.
Step 1: The Ingredients
For three to four people:
- 2 medium-sized fennel bulbs
- 2 oranges
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Lemon juice from 1 lemon or 2 Tbsp of white vinegar
- Salt to taste
- A small handful of shelled walnuts (optional)
(I didn't use the walnuts when I made this salad this time as I forgot to buy them)
Step 2: Core the Fennel Bulb
Wash the fennel. Remove any outer layers with brown spots on them, then cut it in half.
You can eat the "core", but I prefer to cut it out, as you can see in the photo above.
Step 3: Slice the Fennel
Slice the fennel bulb - the thickness depends on how you like your "crunch factor". I like to slice it thickly with a sharp knife so that it's very crunchy. If you prefer thinner slices, you can use a mandoline slicer.
Step 4: Peel the Orange
Slice the ends of the oranges off, then cut all the skin and pith off.
Step 5: Chop the Oranges
Cut the oranges into chunks and add it to the fennel. I cut out the "core" of the orange where all the segments join before chopping up the flesh of the orange.
If you have walnuts, chop them roughly and add them to the salad.
Step 6: Add the Dressing
Mix the oil, salt, and either lemon juice or vinegar in a small bowl, then pour it over the salad.
Toss the salad and serve immediately.