Thursday 27 May 2010

Fennel Salad with Citrus

I just adore Fennel. It's a lovely vegetable, with a delightfully crisp and crunchy texture and a mild licorace flavour. I could eat it just like an apple. I find it wonderfully refreshing and incredibly delicious . . .

Mind you, I can sit and eat All Sorts by the handful, and would . . . but for my conscience.

Did you know that there are both male and female fennel bulbs??? The shorter squat bulb is the female . . . surprise, surprise! Whilst the taller, more slender bulbs are the males. There is no discernable difference in taste between the two. They're both lovely.

Fennel is lovely braised or roasted. The resulting flavour is very mild and it has a beautiful meltingly tender texture, not at all stringly like one would think. Fantastic with fish, and surprisingly tasty with cheese!

I love it in salads though . . . that is where it really shines, and it is my favourite way of preparing it. Sliced into coleslaws, it gives an intriguing flavour that has people wondering what that additional little flavour it. Chopped and added to a leafy salad, it adds a lovely crunch . . .

Thinly sliced and starring in it's own salad, it is wonderfully refreshingly gorgeously delicious. I like to use both the crisp layers and the fronds. It goes fabulously well with citrus fruits, especially orange, which somehow enhances it's delicate flavour. The additional crunch of richly toasted pinenuts is an extravagent addition and adds another wonderful layer of flavour in this fantastic salad.

I love this salad so much I could eat the whole thing all by myself . . . but I restrain myself and share it with Todd. Once dressed you must eat it immediately.

Not a problem . . .

*Fennel Salad with Citrus*
Serves 2
Printable Recipe

This is a deliciously light and refreshing salad on a warm day.

1 large bulb of fennel
the zest and juice of one lemon
1 navel orange
3 TBS pine nuts, toasted
a splash of olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Trim your fennel, cutting off any shoots, reserving the fronds, and discarding. Also any bruised or tatty looking or wilted outer bits. Cut the fennel bulb in half and cut out the core, discarding it. Slice the fennel halves paper thin using a mandolin, if possible. Place in a bowl. Grate the zest of the lemon into the bowl, along with the zest of the orange. Using a sharp knife, cut all the pith away from the orange, exposing the inner flesh. Again, with a sharp knife, cut into the orange, between the sections, and slice out the flesh into the bowl. Squeeze the remainder of the orange over the bowl, allowing all the juices to fall into it. Squeeze the juice of the lemon into the bowl as well. Chop the fennel fronds coarsely and add along with the pine nuts, a splash of olive oil and some salt and pepper to taste. Toss together and serve immediately.


  1. Oh how yummy! I must have an entire folder of your recipes! Thank you! ;)

  2. Una excelente ensalada para este tiempo. Un saludo

  3. That looks like a lovely salad Marie. I have to be honest though, I just don't get fennel! I think its the flavour, which is a shame for the rest of my family cause they love it lol. I'll have to make this salad for them the next time they are around.

  4. I think fennel is vile and evil, but the husband adores it. He usually roasts it for dinner, with a splash of olive oil and lots of freshly ground black pepper. I might surprise him tonight, we certainly have a ton of this in the fridge...

  5. Mmm yum! The first time I had fennel it was braised with orange! Perfect combination!

  6. Marie, fennel was a staple in our Italian home growing up (both my Nonnas swore by it's abilities to aid in "digestion"), but my poor Jewish daughter-in-law had never seen it. The first time she used it in a recipe I got a frantic phone call asking "What do I do with this thing??!!" LOL I will have to send her this one- it looks absolutely lovely!
    xoxo Pattie

  7. We love fennel with citrus. Looks delicious.

  8. I've never used fennel before but enjoy looking at it in the grocery store. The salad looks delicious.

  9. I have to admit that I have never tasted a fennel in my whole life. However, this salad looks beautiful and makes me want to give it a try.


  10. I bought fennel in the market yesterday and shall be making this for supper. I never knew about the male and female bulbs. That is my fact for the day!


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