I’ve discovered that if you name a dish after your child, the chances they’ll eat it increase. Although my daughter has a hearty appetite and a fairly sophisticated palate, sometimes salad is not the most exciting choice at the dinner table. When I make this, I always refer to it as hers. She especially enjoys this with the addition of crumbled blue cheese or feta. The salty cheese adds another layer of delicious flavor, though I’ve opted to leave it out in this simpler version. For a super healthy dinner, we’ve added grilled chicken to make it a meal.
This salad is very light and refreshing. The thinly sliced fennel gives a nice crunch and its sweet anise flavor is a perfect match to the oranges. If you’re unsure about fennel, you should give it a try. It’s a versatile veggie that’s delicious raw and thinly sliced in salads, or even roasted in the oven. Cooking it in the oven mellows the flavor and it’s really nice when roasted alongside carrots or even potatoes. The New York Times featured a segment in their series “Recipes for Health” about fennel and included various recipes. If my salad hasn’t inspired you enough to try it, possibly Martha Rose Shulman’s oven roasted fish with fennel will have you shopping for fennel on your next trip to the market.
INGREDIENTS (Serves about 4)
- About 5-6oz mixed baby greens or other favorite lettuce mix
- 2 navel oranges, segmented and juiced
- 1/2 fennel bulb, trimmed, cored & thinly sliced
- 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt & pepper to taste
- Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
Place the mixed greens, fennel and onion in a salad bowl. Segment your oranges and squeeze the orange skeleton over a bowl to gather all the fresh OJ. Add the orange segments to the salad bowl and measure out 2 tbsp of the fresh orange juice for the dressing. Combine the orange juice, lemon juice, mustard, salt, pepper and red pepper (if using) in a small bowl. Whisk in the olive oil to emulsify. Taste for seasoning.
Dress the salad right before serving.
* HOW TO SEGMENT AN ORANGE
While helping cook for a charity dinner years ago, a friend/caterer shared her tips and techniques for slicing and segmenting oranges. I’ve found this short video on Food52 which walks you through those steps. Click here to see the video.