Fennel & Orange Salad with Toasted Pistachios

IMG_2050

Citrus! Sweet, Sweet (and sour) Citrus.

Without your glowing jewel tones and bursts of vitamin C, how would we ever survive the harsh brutalities of winter?

Just seeing citrus this time of year gets me feeling all bright eyed and bushy tailed. 

Look!

IMG_2005

I just can’t get enough of these colors! We eat with our eyes first, and this photo is some serious eye candy.

Aside from hibernation, citrus might be the only thing I actually like about winter. Everything else can go light itself on fire.

(I’m talking to YOU single digit temperatures, icy roads and dry pasty skin!)

IMG_1959

There are soooo many ways to incorporate these gorgeous, vitamin-packed gems into your diet. In fact, I start every morning with a big mug of hot water with lemon (followed by an even bigger mug of coffee).

Lemons are great for alkalizing the body and the hot water gives you a shot of hydration, which helps to cancel out the dehydrating effects of coffee.

IMG_1979

There are all kinds of vibrant citrus fruits in-season this time of year, each great for adding a zing of acidity and splash of color to a dull winter’s day.

I’m a big fan of just peeling an orange, grapefruit, tangerine or clementine simply to eat as a snack. But today, I wanted a little something more.

Enter: Fennel & Orange Salad. A Sicilian classic.

IMG_2019

Sicily is known for their citrus, and one day I’ll get there to find out exactly why. But for now, I’m going to close my eyes really tight and pretend I’m lounging on the shores of Palermo, eating all-of-the-citrus-everything.

Ya gotta make due with whatcha got, right? Even if  it’s only your imagination.

IMG_1995

This is a beautiful, show stopping salad that’s perfect for serving at a fancy-schmancy dinner, yet easy enough to jazz up a simple week-night supper.

Any type of orange will get the job done, but I love mixing up the different varieties to create a whole spectrum of vibrant hues and flavors. Blood oranges range from a speckled orangey red to a deep bloody purple, with a mellow floral flavor. Cara Cara oranges look like ruby red grapefruits inside and have a perfect balance of sweet and tart. Valencias give you that classic orange color and bright citrusy flavor we all know and love.

Together they create a work of art for your eyes and mouth.

IMG_1958

The rest of the salad is a breeze to throw together: Raw shaved fennel for a sweet, mild anise flavor and crisp refreshing crunch; red onion for a savory bite; toasted pistachios for texture and nuttiness; crunchy sea salt to bring out all the flavors & extra virgin olive oil to round it all out.

Nothing more, nothing less. Sicilian simplicity at it’s finest.

Brighten up your taste buds and your spirits!

IMG_2037

Fennel & Orange Salad with Toasted Pistachios

Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4 as a first course or side

Ingredients

5 oranges, any variety (I used a mix of Blood, Valencia & Cara Cara)
1/2 smal fennel bulb, plus some of the fronds
1/4 small red onion
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup toasted, chopped pistachios
1 teaspoon flaky sea salt (I like Maldon)

Directions

 

Begin by slicing the top and bottom of each orange to reveal the flesh. Set a cut side down on the cutting board and use your knife to slice down the sides to remove the peel and as much white pith as possible. Turn the oranges on their sides and slice into rounds.

Use a sharp knife or a mandoline to shave the fennel and red onion into very thin slices.

Arrange the oranges, fennel and onion on a platter, layering the fennel and onion between the slices of orange.

Drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with pistachios and sea salt. Scatter the reserved fennel fronds around the plate if desired. Serve immediately.

IMG_2029

2 thoughts on “Fennel & Orange Salad with Toasted Pistachios”

  1. Okay, lady. Now this is getting a little freaky! I served almost the same dish last evening for dinner. I do supreme the oranges rather than use rounds and I use Endive as counterpoint to the shaved fennel. This makes a terrific, healthy meal when served with a simple pan seared white fish like tilapia or flounder. The thinly shaved red onion adds just the right amount of bite. Next time I do this I will use the pistachios – never considered going for that type of added crunch and texture. Thanks for the tip.

  2. Hey Bruno – I totally forgot to respond to this. Sorry!! Better late than never,r right? So funny you made something so similar!! Try slicing the oranges like this next time, SO much faster and easier than supremes, and less work too! I love the addition of endive, nice and bitter! Also, definitely throw on some pistachios next time, they give the perfect crunch and nuttiness! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s