18 Jun2012

Just a few seconds outside the main gates of the restaurant Antonio’s in Tagaytay, Gejo Jimenez guided us to a street-side drop off of freshly harvested fennel. The plots of fennel were growing just twenty meters away from the road. It was a bit like a drug-drop set-up if you were observing from afar, except that the bags had leafy fennel fronds protruding from them. Back at home, I wondered what to do with the bounty of fennel. There are two kinds of fennel I think, the “female” bulbs that are robust and globular in shape, and the “male” bulbs that are longer and flatter. Not sure if what I got were “males”, or just tropicalized and warmer weather “females”… at any rate, they were flatter than their imported cousins.

Just the day before, I had spied and purchased a few blood oranges from S&R, and there was some baby arugula in the refrigerator, so I had the makings of a slightly unusual, but classic pairing of fennel, oranges and greens. So easy, so incredibly attractive, and delicious to boot!

Take several fennel bulbs and chop off the fronds (don’t throw them away, you can use them to garnish the final dish) and wash the bulbs thoroughly. Slice thinly with a knife or on a mandoline and toss with some slices of blood orange sections (regular oranges would do fine as well) and some baby arugula leaves.

Add some blood orange juice, some good extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and you are good to go. You can chill this before serving, but not for too long as the arugula will wilt with the acid from the orange juice.

Terrific with grilled or roasted meats, fish and other main courses. Sophisticated sounding, looking and tasting, but incredibly easy to make.



  1. Marvien De Leon says:

    Sarap naman po!

    Jun 18, 2012 | 12:19 pm


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  3. Sleepless in Seattle says:

    Pictures are so vividly awesome!! would love to replicate your salad for all this produce,i love!!Today is fathers day here,was out to dinner ,come home to see this.. could have prepared good steak & this !!Sophistication indeed.

    Jun 18, 2012 | 12:51 pm

  4. millet says:

    that is just stunning!

    Jun 18, 2012 | 10:38 pm

  5. millet says:

    those are really flat fennels. I don’t think that’s a tropical thing because we have bukidnon-grown fennel that are round and fat, although smaller than the US variety. MM, is that a shagreen tray/charger underneath the orange?

    Jun 19, 2012 | 12:37 am

  6. Marketman says:

    millet, yes, it’s shagreen, but a box not a charger or tray… I just placed the orange on top of it for a contrast in color and texture.

    Jun 19, 2012 | 6:01 am

  7. PITS, MANILA says:

    this looks and sounds so healthy …

    Jun 19, 2012 | 9:40 am

  8. Dee says:

    I wanted to try fennel but it’s so expensive in Rustan’s!

    Jun 19, 2012 | 4:50 pm

  9. Marketman says:

    Dee, locally grown fennel is much less say PHP250-300 per kilo… I know, that’s still a lot, but less than imported fennel…

    Jun 19, 2012 | 4:53 pm

  10. Isabel says:

    Hi. The salad is so beautiful. Very sophisticated and lovely combination of ingredients.
    Just discovered your blog today and I think it is great. I am sure I will visit it again.

    Jun 23, 2012 | 2:28 pm


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