The best salads or often those created by what’s staring you in the face. Which is why it almost seems silly to write a ‘recipe’ for this one…
But part of reducing kitchen waste and upcycling leftovers is about being inspired by what’s in front of you, whether it’s going brown, soft, or simply there because it’s in season. Be inspired by it. That floury apple? Poach it. That brown banana? Bake it. Those blood oranges? Stick ‘em in a salad with fennel.
It is also about using the entire thing in front of you. Root-to-fruit. And I say that because, well that orange peel, once sliced and peeled off, remove larger chunks of white pith and toss them in the freezer until you decide you have the patience to candy them or make an orange syrup/toss them into a cake. Fennel Fronds? Are amazing. Flavour + aesthetic, all in one. Do not toss them. Dress your salad/meat/quiche/fish/pasta/life with them.
Fronds + Tahini Winter Salad
nibs etc. original recipe. Serves 2 as mains, 4 as sides.
1 Blood/Regular Orange
1 Fennel Bulb
1-2 tbsp Pomegranate Seeds
2-3 tsp Tahini
1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp Honey
Salt + Pepper to taste
Half your fennel bulb. Placing flat side down, chop off the fronds/green ends, julienne/finely chop the fronds and set aside. Then half your fennel halves. Thinly slice (or using a mandolin) your fennel length-ways, and toss into a bowl.
Peel your orange (or zest first onto a tray, place tray in freezer, and once frozen, bag zest and leave in freezer for later use), halve, quarter and slice each quarter into 3. Add to the bowl with your fennel. Toss together.
In a small bowl, mix together the tahini and the evoo, before adding the lemon juice and honey – mix well until well combined (it may separate – keep mixing! It will emulsify, have faith). Finish with a pinch of salt and cracked black pepper to taste.
To assemble: plate fennel and orange. Top with a drizzle of dressing. Sprinkle with fennel fronds, cracked pepper, and pomegranate seeds – in that order (yes it matters! For presentation... the whole thing will still taste mighty fine).
As an appetizer – switch it up for your friends. It’s beautifully elegant, colourful and textural. It literally is the perfect salad for entertaining (if I do say so myself).
As a main – light dinner, anyone? Add chickpeas/walnuts for a little extra body.
As a side – to any steak, escalope/wiener schnitzel (photographed here), seared fish.
Substitute orange for clementines, grapefruit, pomelo.
Add seeds/nuts for extra crunch/protein.