Until yesterday, my favourite way to eat fennel bulb was sliced and roasted, either on its own or on a pizza. But after Tim’s comment that roast fennel was “insipid”, I decided to do something completely different with the 1.5 fennel bulbs sitting in the fridge.
Fennel salads are nothing new, and I found a ton of them to choose from on the internet. I wound up going for this Fennel, Orange and Walnut salad for its simplicity and the availability of ingredients in my cupboard. Fennel, orange, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and walnuts combine to form a wonderfully tangy, crunchy, slaw-like experience. Sweet from the orange, earthy from the walnuts, and a subtle hint of anise from the fennel. This may be my new way to eat fennel, at least now that spring has sprung.
Fennel, Orange and Walnut Salad
2 fennel bulbs
1/2 lemon, juice of, only
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
7 whole walnuts, cut in small pieces, toasted if you like
- Remove the tough outer leaves of the fennel, cut off the tops and discard; cut each bulb in half and cut out the cores (and discard them too).
- Lay each fennel half in turn on cutting board (cut, flat side down) and slice as thinly as possible (I used a vegetable peeler for this); transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Slice one orange in half (horizontally) and juice one of the halves, setting juice aside.
- Slice the remaining 1 1/2 oranges horizontally; remove the peel from each slice, then separate the individual sections (you should end up with thin triangles) which then are added to the fennel slices.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, reserved orange juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Pour over the fennel and oranges and mix well; allow to marinate at least 30 minutes and preferably one hour in the refrigerator.
- Just before serving, sprinkle the walnut pieces over the salad and mix well.
Speaking of spring, I had a wonderful walk yesterday around the farm. We’ve had beautiful weather lately, and I can’t believe I’ve been wasting these beautiful mornings cooped up in the gym. I decided to skip my usual swim for a long walk around the farm to check out the wildflowers and get some fresh air. At 6:30am, there was a slight frost on the ground, but plenty of flowers and surprisingly, even a few people (hard core photographers and fisherman as far as I could tell). Still, a pleasant morning and a refreshing reminder of what this fitness stuff is really all about: having the strength and energy to get out and see the world and make the most of beautiful mornings (all too rare in England!).
- Walk: About 5 miles or so around the farm and beyond.
- Breakfast: Muesli with fruit and yogurt.
- Snack: Wild garlic frittata and avocado.
- Lunch: Wild garlic frittata with fennel and orange salad.
- Snack: Apple with greek yogurt
- Dinner: Black bean tostada with guacamole and lots of raw veggies.
- Dessert: Grapefruit.