Friday, March 5, 2010

a fennel salad and a photo

There is a wonderful feeling that comes from carrying heavy bags filled with fresh produce. This feeling, somewhere between productivity and peace, makes it worth carrying these two bags on two different forms of public transportation more than four miles. 

Or maybe I'm just crazy, going weak kneed at the sight of cheap fennel and organic blood oranges. I'm such a sucker for a good deal. 

With spring teasing me with 40 degree days (!) and sunshine, my internal seasonal clock has me craving fresh vegetables. After a winter diet comprised mostly of cheese and carbs, my body has begun to protest, demanding nutrients. I placated it with this salad.

Subconsciously I began forming this salad at the store, buying fennel and blood orange, but it only really began to take form on the bus, when my wandering mind remembered this awesome post from one of my favorite food blogs, The Kitchn. Paring it down from it's leafy abundance I created a minimalist, healthy, and tasty side for some homemade pizza. 

It was really good. I once claimed I wasn't a fan of sweet-savory combos, but this salad is living proof I was lying. The saltiness from the olives and the pecorino is the perfect contrast to the rich sweetness of the blood orange and the slight anise flavor of the fennel. This is the perfect accompaniment for the first picnic of Spring. But I might wait for 50 degrees to do that...

Fennel, Blood Orange, and Olive Salad
makes enough for 4 side salads

-1 fennel bulb, sliced very thinly
-2 large blood oranges, segmented
-1/4 cup pitted olives, chopped in half (I used kalamata)
-an ounce of pecorino romano or parmesan, or to taste
-2 Tbs olive oil
-2 Tbs lemon juice
-salt & pepper to taste

Assemble together the fennel, blood orange segments, and olives. Shave the pecorino over, using a vegetable peeler.  Toss with olive oil & lemon juice. Enjoy. 

* On a side note, many thousands of thanks to my wonderful sister Eva for the great camera I now have to document all my culinary adventures. Please bear with me as I attempt to improve my food photography!

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