If you’re following me on Twitter, you might have seen my ecstatic post about finding blood oranges. Here in Athens, finding common delicacies like Meyer lemons and blood oranges are rare occasions indeed. I’ve seen Meyer lemons once, a year ago, and I’ve stumbled upon blood oranges two or three times. This, all in course of ten years of residency. I actually think the Meyer lemons were an accident. But, oh, Kroger! They had scads and scads of Moro blood oranges, blushing and beckoning to me from no less than three different displays. I saw them almost immediately, and I filled a sack with them. This was supposed to be a routine trip; I needed only some butter, eggs, and confectioner’s sugar to round out my cake-making supplies. But, the blood oranges demanded to be bought, and I picked up some fennel to go along with them. I figured that my pantry could work something out to leverage the deliciousness of these ingredients pretty easily.
I was right.
After gorging ourselves on cake all Sunday afternoon, we really didn’t want much of a dinner. So, I went to the remaining blood oranges – a couple having been eaten out of hand – and put together this salad. The fruit was delicious. The simple dressing and the bit of salt draws the juice from them, maximizing every bit of flavor this fruit has to offer. The oranges were delightful, aromatic, and gorgeously berry-ish. This salad is a great way to feature the fruit and enjoy a tasty seasonal fruit.
Blood Orange and Fennel Salad
- 2 bulbs fennel
- 6 blood oranges
- 1 T basil
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil
- 2 T red wine vinegar
- 1 T pine nuts, toasted
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Trim the fennel of fronds. Cut off the root end and core the bulbs. Using a mandoline or a very sharp knife, shave the fennel into thin strips. Place the fennel in a bed on a serving plate. Next, slice all the peel and bitter pith away from the oranges. Cut the peeled oranges into slices about 1/4″ thicks. Layer the oranges in slightly overlapping rows over the fennel. Tear the basil into small pieces and strew across the top. Drizzle the olive oil and vinegar over the entire salad and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let this rest while you toast the pine nuts. Just before serving, scatter the pine nuts over the salad.