- 2 servings
- 2 large oranges
- 1 large fennel bulb
- 16 small fresh mint leaves, torn in half
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 15 kalamata olives – pitted!
- salt to taste
I think I’m more excited for the new year now than I was on January 1st. New projects, foods, and friends keep crossing my path, and I’m ever grateful. Everything feels fresh, a sure sign the spring is on her way. (She likes to sleep in.)
As a colorful reminder of new starts, I’m trying out this funky salad. I was on the hunt to incorporate some hefty Vitamin C via oranges into a dish – and this one turned me off. When I read “oranges, fennel, and…olives?” I laughed out loud. What were those Sicilians thinking? But hey, you can’t argue with people who invented the cannoli.
So I took a stab, and it tasted refreshing though unfamiliar. The sweet orange soaks into the fennel and mint, creating a sweet, crunchy mouthful – but then the olive steps in with a savory bite. I like the contrast between the two elements, rounded out by the tangy balsamic. Definitely a dish to share with friends, or at least take home to your Sicilian grandmother.
The most poignant ingredient, though very simple, is the sweet orange. Each bite of fruit emits sweet juice that highlights the other flavors. And besides being delicious, it’s full of Vitamin C – the first Vitamin we’re diving into this month. If not in this salad, I encourage you to drop it into others or enjoy a few simple slices on the side. If you’re curious about the benefits of C, the last post has it covered.
Borrowed gently from Saveur:
1. Julienne the fennel bulb; coarsely dice the mint leaves; then peel, quarter, and dice the oranges. Throw all together in a bowl with the olives.
2. In a small bowl, mix the vinegar, oil, and salt. Combine with the salad, and garnish with extra good-looking orange pieces.