Gay Cook’s fennel and orange salad

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Serves 5 – 6

Fennel is almost like celery but has concave stalks with feathery dill-like green tops with an anise taste. Fennel makes a delicious winter salad or can be roasted and brushed with a little olive oil. Fennel seeds have medicinal value in India and Italy with a high source of potassium and vitamin C.

1 large fennel head with green frond
1 whole seedless navel orange with zest
3 tablespoons (40 mL) olive oil
1 tablespoon (15 mL) white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon (2 mL) salt or to taste
Pinch sugar or to taste
8 pitted black olives, cut in half, crosswise

  1. Reserve the feathery fond. Cut off course stems and discard or use in soups. Cut fennel head in half lengthwise and cut out hard centre cord. Thinly slice (paper thin) each half or use a vegetable mandolin if you have one. Place slices in a bowl.
  2. Use zester or rasp to remove the zest (thin orange skin) from the orange and add to fennel. Hold the orange stem end down and cut off the skin with the white pith leaving the orange completely clean of any white pith. In one hand, cup the orange and with the other hand use a sharp knife to cut out each segment between the orange segments between the pith. Toss the orange segments in with the fennel. Squeeze any juice left in the orange skeleton over the salad.
  3. Toss the salad with the olive oil, vinegar, salt to taste, sugar and black olive halves. Sprinkle on the fond and zest. Serve as soon as possible so the fennel stays on the crisp side.