Fennel and orange salad
If there’s one thing that goes perfectly with a beautifully pan fried fish fillet, it’s fennel and orange salad. It is one of those salads I kept seeing on cookery shows but never tried – until this week. It’s now a firm favourite.
The flavours go extremely well together, and during these hot, sweaty, summer months… salad makes a lighter accompaniment to fish than potatoes. The orange-y freshness marries extremely well with the gentle aniseed of the fennel bulb.
There are obviously going to be a million variations – but at the core of this dish are two main ingredients – yes the clue is in the name!
Do not make this salad until the last moment. It only takes a minute or two to prepare – so I did ours while the fish was cooking. But you know how quickly you chop and juice – so if you want to do it just before, that’s fine too.
Ingredients – serves 2 or 3 as a salad for a main meal
- 1 medium to large fennel bulb
- 2 large oranges
- Remove any brown leaves from the fennel bulb
- Slice the white part into a bowl really finely – a mandolin is perfect for this, although a sharp knife will do. Or use a coarse grater. Some people just chop it. Up to you.
- Do not discard the green fern-like fronds
- Grate a small amount of orange peel. It’s only for decoration so you only need half a teaspoon or so. Be careful not to grate the pith (or as I called it as a child, “sexy peel”), because that is a little bitter.
- Now cut segments from that orange – try to make sure that they are segments only. No poeel or pith.
- Juice the other orange – get as much as you can out of it.
- Add the juice to the fennel and toss it well
- Toss in the orange segments too
- Arrange on plates if you like – or leave in the bowl for people to help themselves.
- Pull the fern fronds from their stalks and arrange on top. This is primarily for decor, but they do add a lovely hit of extra aniseed.
- Sprinkle the grated orange peel too
- Serve immediately with a beautifully pan fried fish fillet or two
Spain Buddy tips
Although we’ve suggested fish – this salad also goes really well with many other items too. Try…
- Grilled prawns
- Skewered pork
- Seared tuna
- Poached or seared salmon
Keep the flavours you mix it with gentle – ensuring that the salad is the main flavour of your dish. But the following flavours mix in really well with that salad too!
- Fresh mint
- Grated carrot
- Fresh garden peas
- A pinch or two of fennel seeds
- Flaked almonds (even better when toasted)
by Elle Draper
Elle, along with Alan, is the owner of Spain Buddy and the busy web design business - Gandy-Draper. Born a "Norverner", she then spent most of her life "Dann Saff" before moving to Spain in 2006. Elle's loves are Alan, the internet, their three bouncing dogs, good food, and dry white wine - although not necessarily in that order. More about Elle - HERE | Got a news story to share? Click HERE | Want to write for Spain Buddy? Click HERE | Interested in our low cost advertising? Click HERE