Anyone I’ve ever served fennel to, has totally enjoyed it – even those trying it for the very first time. A natural digestive in the Mediterranean, it’s usually sliced very thinly, and served raw, as is – or as a main ingredient in salad. Fennel & mushroom, fennel & celery, fennel & apple just to name a few. You could also serve it thinly sliced, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil & some shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano – for the ultimate in taste and simplicity.
The combined taste of the licorice-like fennel, the saltiness of the Parmigiano and the sweetness of the orange are indeed a wonderful match up of flavours. Serve warm or at room temperature, this is perfect for an unusual & tasty salad, and would also make a terrific partner for most any fish.
Like it does to all vegetables, oven roasting enhances the sweet, natural goodness that’s already present. Remember… caramelization = flavour.
Roasted Fennel & Orange Salad
This is a fantastic salad, with it’s components of cooked, raw, savory & sweet. You can find fennel in summer & early fall and it’s becoming more readily available, as people use it and grow to love it. Include a fennel salad recipe in your repertoire, to please both family and dinner guests alike. Serves 4 as a light starter.
1 fennel bulb, stalks trimmed (save some fronds for garnish)
1 tangerine, clementine or small orange, peeled (if the citrus is small, feel free to use 2)
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Kosher salt, to taste
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Parmigiano Reggiano, for garnish
Preheat your oven to 375º
Remove the outer layer of the fennel and cut the bulb in half, removing most of the stalk and saving some of the fronds for garnish.
Cut each half into 4 wedges, with some of the root end on each wedge to hold the pieces together.
Place in shallow parchment lined baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt & pepper.
Roast 25 -30 minutes, until golden and caramelized.
Let cool while you peel and slice the orange, horizontally.
On a pretty platter, arrange the roasted fennel segments, then the orange slices and a light scattering of the fennel fronds.
Some stores leave more of the stalks… some will cut them all off.
Outer layer removed (usually is tough) and cut in half.
I was aggressive in trimming… you really should leave more of the stalk on.
Lightly dressed and ready for the oven.
Let cool slightly and if necessary drain on kitchen paper to absorb excess oil.