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Add something crisp and bright to the menu

Posted by Sheryl Julian  March 2, 2010 10:23 AM

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I saw a heap of Cara Cara oranges in the market, then passed by beautiful fennel with bushy fronds, so I grabbed both to make a fennel-orange salad. 

If you're going to serve fennel raw, it needs to be sliced paper thin. Marinated the slices in olive oil and salt. I started with a can of white beans to give the salad some substance, doused them with oil and vinegar, then added layers of fennel and oranges, ending with fennel fronds. The fresh greens have a subtle licorice flavor, which is wonderful with the intense red citrus. Spoon the salad over greens.

Fennel orange salad
Serves 4

1 can (15 ounces) white beans, drained and rinsed
Olive oil (for sprinkling)
Red wine vinegar (for sprinkling)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 small bulb fresh fennel, trimmed and very thinly sliced
2 Cara Cara or other oranges, peeled and sliced
Handful fresh fennel fronds (for garnish)

1. In a bowl, combine the beans with enough olive oil and vinegar to moisten them lightly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; set aside for 10 minutes.
2. In another bowl, combine the fennel with enough olive oil to moisten it lightly. Add salt and pepper; set aside for 10 minutes.
3. Add the fennel to the beans. Add the oranges, garnish with fronds. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour for the flavors to mellow. Serve over salad greens. Sheryl Julian
About Dishing

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Sheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.

Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in the Food section.

Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.
 

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