Fennel, Orange, Olive and Red Onion Salad
A typical Sicilian salad of contrasting colours, textures and flavours – crunchy
fennel, juicy oranges, slightly bitter olives and pungent red onions.
Perfect as a starter or to accompany a rich meal.
fennel bulbs 2 medium, with fronds
oranges 3 medium
red onion 1 small
sea salt flakes
freshly ground black pepper
extra-virgin olive oil
black or green olives (preferably Sicilian) 20, pitted
1) Trim the fennel fronds and set aside. Remove the root and any blemished layers from the bulb. Slice lengthways into quarters, and cut out the core. Slice the quarters very thinly lengthways. Put the fronds and slices in a bowl of cold water, and soak for 20 minutes to keep them fresh and crisp.
2) Slice the top and base from the oranges. Cut away the peel following the contours of the fruit. Using a very sharp knife, slice the flesh into thin rounds, discarding any pips. Set aside.
3) Cut the onion in half, then slice into very thin wings or crescents. Set aside.
4) Just before serving, drain the fennel and dry in a salad spinner. Spread out on a paper towel and pat dry.
5) Tip the fennel and onion slices into a bowl. Chop some of the fennel fronds and stir these into the fennel mixture. Season with sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper. Toss to mix, then add just enough olive oil to coat. Toss again and add a spritz of lemon juice.
6) Tip the fennel mixture into a shallow serving dish. Top with the orange slices and olives. Add another glug of olive oil, and garnish with a few fennel fronds.