What, you say, Fennel and blood oranges in Mexico? Well yes, you can grow or purchase both items here in the Puerto Vallarta area. Although I have not found any starter plants for blood oranges, I will. (Orange Fennel Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette might take a little getting used because most people do not use fennel all that often. If you are not sure of how it taste, it is the anise like taste in Italian sausage…
Orange and fennel is a classic combination that creates a wonderful flavor profile. Because these two flavors are so distinct, it is best to let them have center stage when they come together. There is no need to complicated things when you are working with these two. In
fact, you may find that adding a green leafy lettuce to this dish is unnecessary. I add Romaine because I feel it is needed to mellow out this salad and it makes it go a little further, however try it with and without leafy green lettuce and see which you like best, then that becomes your recipe.
Whenever possible, mix together the vinaigrette ingredients in advance. Giving this combination a chance for all the flavors to meld makes a big difference.
- Salad Ingredients:
- 3 blood oranges (or regular navel oranges), cut into thin slices with rind removed
- 1 bulb fennel, washed, dried and thinly sliced, bottom and green leaves removed and discarded
- 1 head Romaine or other leafy green lettuce
- Citrus Vinaigrette Ingredients:
- 1 t. fresh orange zest
- 2 T. fresh orange juice
- 1 t. fresh lemon zest
- 1 T. fresh lemon juice
- 1 t fresh lime juice
- 1 T. fresh lime juice
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- ½ cup really good extra virgin olive oil
- 1 T. honey
- 2 t. Dijon mustard
- 1 - 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Whenever adding citrus zest to a recipe, it is best to start with organic ingredients. Also be sure to wash the fruit thoroughly and pat dry. Zest each piece of fruit with a microplane or citrus zester and add the specified amount to the bowl.
- While you are at it, continue zesting the entire fruit and freeze the excess amount in a plastic bag for future use. Another option is to collect the remaining juice from each piece of fruit and store in ice cube containers along with the leftover zest.
- Combine the vinaigrette ingredients in a glass bowl and whisk together thoroughly to combine. The Dijon mustard will ask as an emulsifier to bind the oil and acidic components together.
- Arrange the Romaine or other lettuce leaves on each plate and top with alternating slices of fennel and orange. Drizzle entire plate with citrus vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper,
A mircoplane zester is a handy little kitchen item to have. It can handle anything from ginger, which we use a lot of in our house, to zesting fruit and grating nutmeg.
I like to serve this Orange Fennel Salad with a fresh rustic sourdough bread and farm fresh butter. And, depending on how hot the weather is, I might even serve a nice cold soup to round out a complete meal.
For drinks I would serve both a freshly ground and brewed dark roast coffee and perhaps iced kombucha tea. Both are headliners at the Chefs Kitchen Table and the tea is something that is special in these parts.
I should point out that while this is Mexico and you might expect a few more Mexican recipes on a blog about life in Mexico, we enjoy mixing it up. When it is a Mexican meal to be served, my wife will take the roll of chef and I will help her. When it is other than a Mexican Meal I will take the roll of chef and she will help me. We find we have a lot of fun that way and our guests get to enjoy some pretty good meals that they might not have had before. We do about a 50/50 mix so you will be getting some Mexican recipes soon,
We hope you try this Orange Fennel Salad recipe and that you will rate it and leave a comment in the area below the article to let us know what you think of it.
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