DIVINE Shaved Fennel & Orange Salad

Shaved Fennel & Orange Salad

This Shaved Fennel and Orange Salad is perfect for the final days of winter and is a great side dish and accompaniment to rich winter meals. Thinly shaved fennel is paired with the most wonderful but simple olive oil, mustard and honey dressing and segments of orange. It's one of my favourite ever salads and is a pushy recipe Dear Reader!

I used to groan a little when I'd get fennel in my vege box. Normally I'd put it aside for Teddy's home made food that I make every fortnight. But now I get excited to see fennel now that I have this recipe. Honestly I hope you'll make this because it is literally the perfect salad to have on its own or with a rich main.

This fennel and orange salad goes well with: rich beef stews and lamb dishes. I also loved this paired with twice baked leek and cheddar truffle soufflés as the creamy cheese soufflés needed some acidity and crunch.

Make it a meal! Make this fennel and orange salad a meal by adding crumbled feta or goat's cheese to it! Try some toasted nuts too.

Tips for shaving fennel: I always peel the fennel because it can have a thin skin on the outside. Then I cut the bulb in quarters which makes removing the woody triangular core much easier. Removing this makes mandolining the fennel much easier and faster.

Tips for segmenting the orange: Make sure to use a sharp knife. Slice the top and bottom off the orange and then slice the peel top to bottom following the white of the peel down. Don't worry if you leave some orange flesh on the zest, you will use this. Then use the fine white lines to slice the segments from the orange.

Shaved Fennel & Orange Salad

Although I needed a bit of convincing with fennel, little Teddy needed no convincing and loved it as soon as he tried it. Even though I now love getting fennel, this recipe means that Teddy still gets his beloved fennel as he gets the tops of the fennel which can be tougher but when finely chopped and sautéed with mince and other vegetables become tender. It's great because there's no waste and we get the bulb of the fennel for this salad.

Teddy is such a funny boy and a real comedian. Usually when I cook chicken or meat he will suddenly appear in the kitchen. Mochi knew not to come into the kitchen but we have an impossible time keeping Teddy out and there's no door to close on him. And when I was slicing this salad up this funny little boy turned up hoping for a piece of fennel!

My friend Sammie looked after Teddy once upon a time when when we were away (back when we could go away!). He loves staying with her because her cavoodle Teddy Roo is around the same age and size and they're like siblings and so close. She messaged me on the first day. It seems like straight away Teddy Elliott had figured out how to open the sliding door to the kitchen with his paw and nose. "Hopefully he doesn't teach Teddy Roo how to do it!" said Sammie. Perhaps they were cooking fennel?

So tell me Dear Reader, how do you feel about fennel? Do you have a vege box subscription? And do you have a salad that you absolutely love?

Shaved Fennel & Orange Salad

Shaved Fennel & Orange Salad

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An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 0 minutes

Serves: 4 as a side

  • 2 oranges

  • 1/3 cup/80ml/3flozs extra virgin olive oil

  • 4 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 fennel bulb (around 500g/1.1lbs)

Shaved Fennel & Orange Salad

Step 1 - First segment the oranges. Slice the tops and bottoms off an orange. Take a sharp knife and slice the peel off along the orange from top to bottom following the white pith as a gauge to see how deep to cut. Do this around the whole orange (reserve the peels with the flesh on them) and then remove any white pith that remains on the orange. Take the whole orange in one hand and cut out the segments - you can easily see the dividing lines. Set aside.

Shaved Fennel & Orange Salad

Step 2 - Then make the dressing. Fennel doesn't brown as quickly as other vegetables or fruit but it will discolour eventually so it's easiest to make the dressing before shaving the fennel. Place the olive oil, honey, mustard and minced garlic in a small bowl. The orange peels will still have some orange flesh on them so squeeze the juice from them into the dressing and then whisk the dressing together to create a smooth, orange dressing. If you're a whiz at segmenting oranges (you can see I'm not haha) and don't have any flesh left on the skin then add 1/3 cup/30ml/4flozs of orange juice.

Shaved Fennel & Orange Salad
Quartering the fennel and slicing out the core

Step 3 - Remove the fronds and stalks off the fennel bulb (the stalks are great in soups or as a trivet for a roast) and then peel the outside of the bulb with a vegetable peeler. Cut the fennel bulb in quarters and remove the triangular core. Mandolin the fennel into a bowl on the thinnest setting. Then toss gently with the dressing and orange segments. Season with salt and pepper. If you have the fennel fronds you can add some of these or some chopped parsley.

Shaved Fennel & Orange Salad

Shaved Fennel & Orange Salad

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