I have never been a huge fan of fennel. In fact, I can’t really say I’ve been a fan at all. My dad has always enjoyed it, so it could be found every now and then in our house and the houses of my relatives throughout my childhood.
Dad loves to eat it raw and that is how I always thought it was to be eaten. Its only recently I’ve discovered it can be roasted! (I tried this myself, baking it with a dash of balsamic vinegar and served under steamed Atlantic Salmon – not bad!)
I do quite like fennel when it is eaten with other ingredients, such as in this salad. It marries perfectly with the sweet oranges, the crunch of the nuts and the zinginess of the mint. This is a great salad to serve at a barbecue, or with a roast, as it complements meats very well. My mum makes her own version of this salad, where I caught my inspiration, but this recipe is the result of a Google search, made to tie in with my Spanish themed menu a week or so ago.
Recipe adapted from My Recipes
3 large oranges, sliced
2 medium fennel bulbs, thinly sliced
Half large red onion, thinly sliced
80g pinenuts, toasted
1/2 cup mint, shredded
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
Combine the orange juice, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper in a small jar and shake vigorously to mix.
Arrange orange slices on a platter. Sprinkle over the red onion and the fennel. Scatter the pinenuts and mint. Just before serving, pour over the dressing.