This is my version of what is generally viewed to be a classic Italian pairing of fennel and oranges. This salad is extremely easy to make and an excellent match for seafood dishes such as grilled fish or a steamed lobster or even a fried crab cake. It is simple, sophisticated and a real palate pleaser. After I spotted and purchased the medium sized fennel bulb at the Salcedo market, I shot over to the fruit vendor and got two navel juice oranges. At home I assembled the other ingredients: some good extra-virgin olive oil (Greek olive oil works great with this salad), some white wine vinegar, salt and pepper (better white than black). I remembered the great pomelo I had peeled in the fridge and decided to add some of that too.
Cut off the greens of the fennel, reserving some for garnishing. Very thinly slice the fennel (I use a mandoline, a french slicing contraption) but you can also use a knife, then place sliced fennel in a bowl. Peel the rind and pith off of the orange with a sharp knife then slice the orange while it sits on its side. Add orange slices to the fennel. Cut the other orange in half and squeeze the juice into the salad. If you like, peel and slice up the other half and add that too. Sprinkle with good olive oil, add a dash of vinegar and season with salt and pepper. If you have the pomelo add that in and stir it all up gently. Garnish with reserved fennel leaves. Serve soon after making the salad. Now, wasn’t that easy???