Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Fennel & Orange Salad with Black Olives


Oh sweet fennel, how I love you so.

Coupled with sweet-tart oranges, you make for a perfect salad.

When that salad includes the addition some dry-cured, salty olives and fennel seeds it's as if I have kissed a dream.

I cannot tell you how dear to me you are.

To those who disparage you, I say bah.

To those who are unitiated to your charms, I say try this, and enjoy.

One large bulb fennel, fronds reserved
2 large oranges, segmented, 3 T. juice reserved
A few dry-cured black olives
Olive oil
One small lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
1/8 teaspoon fennel seeds

Crush the fennel seeds and place in a small bowl. Add the olive oil and let sit while you continue.

Slice the fennel as thin as possible.

Toss with the oranges and olives.

Add the remaining orange juice, a bit of juice from the lemon, salt and pepper to the olive oil. Whisk to combine, taste and adjust seasonings.

Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve with a garnish of fennel fronds.
Serves two as a large salad.


Greek mythology claims Prometheus used the stalk of a fennel plant to steal fire from the gods.

The spinach industry has yet to recover from last September's government warning not to eat bagged and fresh spinach because of suspected contamination by E. coli., even though that advisory lasted less then two weeks. "We are struggling to get back on our feet. We are at about 50% of our former demand," said Dale Huss, vice president of production for Ocean Mist Farms, which grows spinach and other produce on 20,000 acres in California, Arizona and Mexico. Today, state and federal health investigators said they had they had traced the contaminated spinach that was the culprit in the outbreak to a California field leased to Mission Organics. The outbreak killed three people and sickened hundreds more. The produce was sold under the Dole label. Once a $240-million business, industrywide sales of packaged spinach are off about 40%, said Marty Ordman, a vice president at Dole Foods Co., the Westlake Village-based produce company. - LA Times

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yum--I love fennel too, though as a kid I couldn't stand fennel seeds. Now I am wiser...
Yum! I loved fennel as a kid, but I just bought it for the first time this week. Looks like, with this recipe, I am off to the market for another bulb! :)
Fennel and oranges are indeed a fantastic base for a salad. I made one tonight but used roasted almonds instead of olives. Last weekend I mixed fennel, blood orange slices, and walnuts. And to think I used to not like fennel...
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