Fennel and Blood Orange Salad
Insalata di Finocchi ed Agrumi

serves: 6 servings

The following is a simple recipe that will give you all the sensations of fresh fennel as the vendor would have it.

2 pounds fresh fennel , trimmed and sliced into thin shavings
4 large Blood oranges, or other oranges
1 cup black olives, oil-cured, pitted and sliced in half
2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed, or to taste
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, or to taste
1 teaspoon Coarse sea salt, or to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Shave the fennel and drop the slices into ice water to crisp.

With a sharp, thin bladed knife, trim the orange and cut out the sections of pure fruit (called supremes) as follows.

First slice off the top (stem) and bottom ends of one orange; shave off the peel and all of the white bitter pith, so only the fruity flesh is showing.

Slice into the center of the orange, running the blade along each of the thin membranes that hold the fruit sections, so the sliver fruit is released-let these fall into a bowl. Peel and cut out the fruit sections from all the oranges: you should have about 4 cups of segments. (After the fruit is removed, squeeze out the juice from the empty membranes and enjoy it!).

Drain the fennel slices and pat dry on paper towels. Pile them in a large bowl with the orange segments and sliced olives and toss together lightly.

Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon salt on top, grind on some black pepper and drizzle the olive oil all over-toss again. Spoon the lemon juice over and toss. Taste; add more of any dressing component your salad needs and give it another tossing.

Arrange portions of the salad in nice mounds on plates and serve.