It's about this time of year that I start seriously wishing I lived in different climate zone. One with warmth and sunshine all year round. I start missing my garden, the flowers and all the colors of spring and summer.
Since I have no plans on packing us all up and moving to Southern California (although that does sound tempting), I present to you a salad so colorful it will brighten any dreary winter day!
I know some of you may not be fans of fennel. I can understand that, having disliked it most of my life. But I came across a recipe a few years ago that completely changed the way I felt about the little bulb. The key was slicing it thin and pairing it with citrus. Game changer.
Blood oranges on the other hand, are easy to love and they happen to be in season right now. They're so juicy and sweet, never mind drop dead gorgeous. I make a dressing with the juice that is so magnificent! Once you taste it, you won't be able to live without it. Add in some olives, feta cheese and arugula and you have yourself one sexy salad! The combination of tang from the fruit, slight crunch and licorice flavor of the fennel paired with the saltiness of the feta and olives...well, just incredible! Try it for yourself and let me know what you think!
**Tips & Recommendations:
If you're not good with a sharp knife, you can use a mandolin slicer to get the fennel thin enough (recommend about ⅛th of an inch thickness.) To slice the bulb, cut the fronds/stems and slice off any discolored outer layer of the bulb. Cut the bulb in half (removing the inner core) then begin to slice.
Blood Orange and Fennel Salad with Feta
- 4 loosley packed cups of arugula
- 3 blood oranges 2 oranges peeled and sliced into rounds, one orange for the juice
- 1 large fennel bulb or 2 small sliced very thin** (reserve some of the fronds for garnish)
- ¼ cup kalamata olives
- 2 oz. crumbled feta cheese
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt
- Place arugula, fennel and olives in a medium sized salad bowl and set aside.
- Squeeze the juice from one whole orange into a small bowl.
- Whisk in the olive oil and add a good pinch of salt and pepper.
- Pour the dressing into the salad bowl and gently combine.
- Set salad onto salad plates then top with orange slices, feta and fennel fronds for garnish.