December 21, 2005 - Fennel gives this salad an exotic taste.
It isn't a vegetable that you automatically think of when making salads, but that is all the more reason to use it in the ones I make.
That spicy flavor in this salad is fennel. Paired with oranges and Italian dressing this is a multi-cultural experience.
I like using these less known vegetables in salads because it gives me an opportunity to get acquainted with their flavor. If you add them to something you cook you lose your connection with the raw flavor. Maybe adding raw fennel is not your idea of the best salad, but eating it in salad gives you the chance to imagine what it would taste like with – raw carrots maybe.
Any left overs can be used in "new food'' experiments later with cooked carrots and fennel. That's how new dishes usually evolve for me. My wife is a good sport. She usually eats the experiments, but my son used to complain: "I hate these experiments.''
This salad got the opposite reaction from him: "Dad, you can make this salad anytime.'' So, I have made it several times.
Fennel and Orange Salad
¼ cup green onions
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 large oranges
1 head Romaine lettuce
1 large fennel bulb, quartered lengthwise, cored, thinly sliced crosswise
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup Parmesan Cheese
Whisk green onions, lemon juice and olive oil in bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Remove peel and pith from oranges. Separate into natural wedges.
Combine Romaine, fennel and onion in large bowl. Toss with enough dressing to coat. Add orange segments and toss again. Season salad with salt, pepper and parmesan cheese and serve.