Oh my goodness. This salad.
My assignment: I was tasked with the creation of a salad for book club to go along with the theme of the book, A Handmaid’s Tale. We needed something juicy, raunchy, and perhaps slightly bitter.
My inspiration: This past week I was having these intense cravings for blood oranges. I scoured San Diego for them and finally located them at the Whole Foods in La Jolla (and on SALE! Me so happy). Meanwhile, I was also deeply distracted by the entire produce aisle and ended up purchasing some beautiful golden nugget tangerines to go along with the blood oranges. Never heard of them? Me neither. If you can find them, you will be so happy with me for introducing you.
Anyway, so blood orange and fennel are a classic combination in Sicilian cooking. Mixing the two with some olive oil and voilà! Perfect salad. I decided to deviate a little from this by adding some frisée and toasted pistachio, and tossing everything with a little citrus vinaigrette.
Needless to say, the book club was so happy with the results that after we finished all the frisée, we had to toss in some kale just to finish up the extra oranges and the vinaigrette.
My Whole Foods citrus haul.
This is approximately the texture you want to slice the fennel. Basically you want to try to get it as thin as possible. If you have a mandolin slicer, bust that guy out and it will be way easier for you. For the rest of the plebians, just using a regular knife will be fine and just do your best.
Look at all those pretty colors! You know it’s going to be good.
Blood Orange Salad with Fennel and Frisée
- For the salad
- 4 blood oranges
- 4 tangerines
- 1 fennel bulb
- 2 heads of frisée
- 1/2 cup chopped toasted pistachios
- For citrus vinaigrette
- Juice of 1 blood orange
- Juice of 1 tangerine
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 shallot minced
- 1 clove of garlic crushed
- Honey to taste
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Whisk together all ingredients for the vinaigrette. Taste and season with honey, salt, and pepper. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours before using (to infuse the garlic flavor). Discard garlic before using.
- Prepare the ingredients for the salad: peel and slice the oranges and tangerines. Arrange on the bottom of a large platter. Using very sharp knife or mandolin, thinly slice the fennel and arrange on top of the oranges. Roughly chop or tear the frisée, and add to the top of the salad. Sprinkle with toasted pistachios.
- Toss salad with vinaigrette just prior to serving (you may not use all the vinaigrette, depending). Season with freshly ground black pepper.