We are big salad eaters in our house – and not least of all because they just seem a helluva lot easier to throw together than cooking veggies – I’ve never timed it, I’m probably wrong – but hey, perception is what counts right?
As it is getting colder in my part of the world, many of our go-to favourites are coming off the menu – like smoothie bowls and salads!
But does salad really need to get a summer only outing?
Here is one delicious salad you can quickly whip up. It has lots of autumn and winter goodness like fennel and blood oranges.
I really think our winter citrus is just nature’s way of making sure we get a little bit of sunshine through the cold months ahead!
This makes me want to pack my walking shoes, a beanie and scarf and head off on a winter picnic!
Enough daydreaming – back to the salad!
Orange and fennel is a classic combination that creates a wonderful flavour profile.
Blood orange is intense and tart, and depending on the variety has bursts of raspberry like flavour. Fennel on the otherhand is firm and crunchy with a sweet anise flavour and aroma.
Because these two flavours are so distinct, it is best to let them have center stage when they come together. They are the hero of the dish (Okay, yes you busted me – I am watching way too much MasterChef! ). There is no need to complicate things when you are working with these two ingredients.
In fact, you may find that adding a green leafy lettuce to this dish is totally unnecessary!
Whenever possible, mix together the vinaigrette ingredients in advance. Allowing the flavours to combine and develop will really give your salad a pop!
- 3 blood oranges (or regular navel oranges), cut into thin slices with rind removed
- 1 bulb fennel, washed, dried and thinly sliced, bottom and green leaves removed and discarded
- 1 head Romaine or other leafy green lettuce
- 1 tsp fresh orange zest
- 2 Tbs fresh orange juice
- 1 tsp fresh lemon zest
- 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp fresh lime zest
- 1 Tbs. fresh lime juice
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- ½ cup really good extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbs. honey
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Whenever adding citrus zest to a recipe, it is best to start with organic ingredients. Also be sure to wash the fruit thoroughly and pat dry. Zest each piece of fruit with a microplane and add the specified amount to the bowl.
- While you are at it, continue zesting the entire fruit and freeze the excess amount in a plastic bag for future use. Another option is to collect the remaining juice from each piece of fruit and store in ice cube containers along with the leftover zest.
- Combine the vinaigrette ingredients in a glass bowl and whisk together thoroughly to combine. The Dijon mustard will ask as an emulsifier to bind the oil and acidic components together.
- Arrange the Romaine or other lettuce leaves on each plate and top with alternating slices of fennel and orange. Drizzle entire plate with citrus vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Serve immediately.
This recipe is also shared on the Sunday Fitness & Food Link Up