Monday, January 18, 2010

Crunchy Fennel Tangelo Salad

I love working for the government! Bonus holidays are the best. My great friend Marney and I have had a tradition for the past few years to go out for breakfast on government holidays and then take a nice walk around one the fabulous Minneapolis lakes. It's a wholly appropriate way to honor Dr. King, I believe.

After a greasy diner breakfast though, I needed a very light and healthy late lunch. I had a half fennel bulb in the fridge leftover from another batch of Winter White Salad*, and some wonderfully ripe and sweet tangelos from the co-op. Clementines, oranges, or even grapefruit would probably be good substitutions though if that's your thing.

*if you haven't tried the White Salad yet, what are you waiting for?? I promise you won't regret it.

Fennel has a very crunchy texture and a very mild licorice flavor. When you pair it with something sweet (like apples in the White Salad, or tangelos here), the delicate flavors marry together perfectly. I just sort of dumped the rest of the ingredients together and was so happy with the way it turned out. I'm definitely making this again someday. It looks really elegant so I think it would be a lovely salad for entertaining.

Crunchy Fennel Tangelo Salad (makes 1 serving)
1/2 bulb fennel, sliced very thin
1 ripe tangelo, all the skin and white pith removed and segmented (save the juice)
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
handful toasted hazelnuts
handful dried cranberries (or pomegranate seeds!)
something green (chopped flat leaf parsley or chopped fennel fronds, I didn't have either of these on hand but it would have been really pretty)

Zest your citrus into a bowl. Then remove all the skin and cut the fruit into segments. Squeeze the carcass of the fruit so the juice is all added to the bowl with the zest and segments. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss.

This salad is a great accompaniment to fish or seafood entrees. Or a perfect light lunch all by itself on MLK Day.

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