Fresh and Fruity, just how I like my salads among other things! This is delicious eaten with the sun shining and a glass of something chilled in one hand.
I make a winter version with walnuts and pomegranate seeds too. But there is just something so delicious about the combination of orange and fennel with the crunch of a nut and the freshness of herbs.
It would make for a delicate light starter or a compliment to other salads or grilled vegetables.
The size her will serve 4 as a light starter but is very simple to double up for feeding a crowd. The dressing will make plenty for the portion size and some left over to use in the week on salads.
1 large fennel bulb
2 oranges peeled and segmented or sliced
¼ red onion
Few sprigs of fresh fennel leaves
Few sprigs of fresh mint
½ cup pecan nuts
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 heaped tbs wholegrain mustard
Juice reserved from oranges
Juice 1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper
1 tbs maple syrup
2 tbs apple cider vinegar
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Pre heat the oven to 180°C
Line a baking tray and place the pecans onto it and into the pre heated oven for about 5 minutes to lightly roast.
Using in a mandolin if you have one, thinly slice the fennel bulb, discarding the woody shoots from the top, but reserving any fennel leaves/prongs for later. Arrange the fennel onto a large serving plate or divide between four small ones.
Repeat with the red onion.
Peel and segment the oranges, do this over a small bowl to catch any juices. Give the skins and waste membrane a squeeze out into the bowl. Arrange the orange segments onto your plates.
In a small dry frying pan add the fennel seeds and toast for a minute or so to release their flavours and natural oils. Sprinkle onto the plate/plates.
Add all the dressing ingredients into the bowl of reserved orange juice and whisk to emulsify. Taste for seasoning. It may need a little more sweet, salt or sour, adjust accordingly.
Roughly chop the toasted pecan nuts and scatter onto your plate/plates, divide the fresh herbs and reserved prongs of fennel between the plates also and finish with a drizzle of the dressing.