I guess it’s technically a winter vegetable, but fennel just screams spring to me: the fresh crunch, pretty green fronds, and the licorice flavor that reminds me of hoarding black jelly beans on Easter when I was little. I couldn’t understand why I was the only person that liked them!
Mike was a little dubious about this salad. He’s not as crazy about black licorice as I am, but he loved this. The lemon, red onion, and orange cover up most of the fennel flavor, so you get just a hint of licorice, but it’s balanced nicely with the citrus. After the soft roasted vegetables we ate all winter, it’s great to have such a crisp and crunchy vegetable. I think it’s best after sitting in the fridge for about 20 minutes, so all the flavors can combine and mellow.
makes 3 small servings
1 medium fennel bulb , thinly sliced (slice the celery-looking stalks too)
1 medium navel orange, cut into sections
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
3 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp chopped walnuts
Toss the fennel, oranges, and red onion in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with a pinch or two of salt and pepper.
Whisk together the orange juice, olive oil, and lemon juice. Pour over the fennel mixture and toss well.
Chill for about 20 minutes, covered, then sprinkle with walnuts to serve.