Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Fennel and Orange Salad

I've always thought that we eat pretty adventurously (well, barring the first 18 very picky years of my life). I like trying recipes with new foods and different cuisines and Bryant eats just about anything I put in front of him (an excellent quality in a husband!).  However, the first week I signed up for CSA, I got a reality check - my box included collard greens (never cooked with them before) and fennel. I don't think I had ever even seen fennel before and even if I had, I already had a prejudice against it because I hate licorice.

I started browsing for recipes to use the fennel and found a blog post that had an America's Test Kitchen fennel salad recipe.  The recipe seemed unusual -- olives? with oranges and fennel? -- but a wise woman (my mom) once said something to the effect of, "If the ingredient list is so bizarre, it might actually taste good."  Plus, the total time to make was listed as 8 minutes and could be made ahead of time so the ease factor definitely played a role.

While I was hesitant to try this, it actually turned out really good! The licorice flavor is slight and the ingredients blend very well together. At first, I tried to put my finger on what was the exact ingredient that made such an unusual combination taste that good...but then I finally gave up and just helped myself to seconds.

Fennel and Orange Salad
Taken from: The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook via Cooking with My Kid
Serves 4-6
  • 5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 oranges, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 fennel bulb, tops discarded, halved + sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup pitted black olives, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh mint, minced
  • salt and pepper
  1. Whisk together the oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Spread the fennel out on a platter. Top with orange slices and then sprinkle with mint and olives. Drizzle dressing over entire salad. 
  2. Serve immediately or store in fridge for up to 1 day.

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