Fennel is a vegetable I only began eating in the past couple of years. And now that I know about it’s mildly licorice flavour, I am making up for lost time.
Making fennel salad is also a good way to practice and hone one’s knife skills. I think fennel is best when thinly sliced – almost shaved – so give yourself some extra prep time to put those skills to use. The oranges need to be zested, peeled, and segmented with care so as to remove all the white pith and membranes. This takes a while as well, so while this isn’t a salad to make when strapped for time, it is well worth the effort.
To prep the fennel, cut off the fronds (the dark green, feathery leaves). Some of the younger and finer fronds can be used as a garnish, but generally I find them to be bitter and with an unpleasant texture, so use sparingly. Trim the stems, cut the bulb in half, and remove the core with a paring knife.
The acid in the vinaigrette is lime juice, along with the orange zest. Whisk this together with honey, mustard, salt and pepper, and then slowly add the oil. (See my Cucumber Watermelon Salad post for vinaigrette ratio information).
Thinly slice the fennel and some celery. Segment the oranges, and mix everything together. Enjoy!