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Friday, June 22, 2012

Two fennel salad recipes

Based on a single experience with a roast chicken and fennel recipe, we were pretty sure that we didn't like fennel. So I wasn't too thrilled to get a bulb of baby fennel in our first CSA box, but decided to make the best of it. And it turns out that fennel is not so bad, especially raw in salads. We got another fennel bulb in our Week 3 box, so I tried another salad variation. Both are good, and I apologize to fennel for judging it so harshly before.

Fennel Salad with Spinach, Orange, and Feta
adapted from these two Bon Appétit recipes

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbs rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbs finely chopped shallot
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 6 oz baby spinach
  • 1 small fennel bulb, very thinly sliced
  • 3 oranges, segmented
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Whisk the first four ingredients in a small bowl, and season with salt and pepper.

Divide the spinach among four plates. Scatter the sliced fennel and orange segments over. Sprinkle with feta and drizzle with the dressing.


Beet, Orange, and Fennel Salad
adapted from Bon Appétit

Ingredients:
  • 5 baby beets*
  • 3-4 oranges
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 small fennel bulb, very thinly sliced
  • 1/4 red onion, very thinly sliced
  • olive oil
  • sea salt

*This was all we had, and for me it was enough, but use more and/or larger beets if you like.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Wash the beets, place them in a small baking dish, and cover them with foil. Add 1/8" water to the dish. Roast beets until tender when pierced with a knife, about 30 minutes for baby beets.

Meanwhile, segment the oranges. The instructions from the original recipe are: "cut all peel and white pith from all oranges; discard. Working over a medium bowl, cut between membranes of 2 blood oranges to release segments into bowl; squeeze juice from membranes into bowl and discard membranes". What I did was cut the oranges into segments, slice off the peel from each segment, and squeeze the little bit of juice from the inside of the peel into a bowl. Whatever works to give you a couple tablespoons of orange juice.

Add orange zest and lemon juice to the bowl.

When the beets are done, run them under cold water to cool and peel them. Slice thinly.

Divide fennel, red onion, beets, and oranges among four plates. Drizzle with orange juice mixture and olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt.


Bonus! Tomato and Fennel Salad with Feta

This isn't really a recipe, just something I did to use up the leftover fennel from the first round. I chopped up about four tomatoes, then mixed them with the leftover fennel slices (maybe about 1/4 cup by that point), a handful of the fennel fronds, 1/4 cup of feta, and balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing. Pretty good.

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