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Sicilian salad with fennel and blood orange


Ciao, welcome back to my blog!


How's the quarantine treating you?

For me it is not bad so far, I really needed a few days of rest after the stressful weeks I had. I am enjoying my time off and I am taking day by day.


The weather here in London had been sunny for the whole week and it feels like spring so I suddenly wanted fresh, raw food rather than the warm and rich dishes that I was cooking until last week.


So today I am going to share with you this delicious salad that is made with fresh fennel and blood orange.


This recipe comes from the hot Sicily, from the south of Italy, where the air is constantly filled with the smell of fresh oranges in the winter. It might seem a very odd combination of ingredients.

The crisp fennel and the sweetly sharp orange are actually incredibly nice together!


Fennel is still in season and so are the oranges but not for long! I really want to get the most of them so I decided to use them together for a light, refreshing lunch.

Fennel has detox properties ( to know more about it, check one of my previous recipes: Butternut squash and fennel tart) while the blood orange is part of the citrus family, which means it is packed with vitamin C.

Curious to know the difference with regular oranges? Check out this post:

"Blood oranges: everything you need to know" from Ask the food geek.


Unfortunately, the blood oranges that I bought were not even close to the ones available this time of the year in Italy, however, the recipe will be also very nice with navel oranges or whatever you can find at your local shop.


This is my personal variation of the original Italian recipe, which includes roasted pine nuts but I couldn't find them in my last shopping (I guess all the Italians in London bought them to make tons of pesto sauce to survive the quarantine...) so feel free to use any kind of nut in order to make it more nutritious and to add a nice crunch element to it.


I also took the liberty to add grated ginger to boost even more the anti-inflammatory power of the dish. I just can't leave without ginger and I think it goes splendidly with the sweet but zesty favours of the salad.


Ingredients

-A large bulb of fennel

-Two blood oranges

-A table spoon of sultanas

-A slice of ginger (grated)

-Salt

-Extra virgin olive oil

-Pepper

-Balsamic vinegar sauce


-Wash the fennel, get rid of the hard outside layer (keep them aside for a stew) but don't toss the leaves, which will decorate the salad.


Don't cut the fennel in a half but slice it as thin as you can.



-Squeeze one of the oranges and use the juice to revive the sultanas (it will take around 8 minutes).



There you have it!

I hope you will take the leap of faith and try it because you'll love it!


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