I have had fennel and orange on the brain lately and pomegranates have been popping up in the grocery store for the past few weeks, so when I saw a salad of those three ingredients combined with feta in Crazy Water Pickled Lemons by Diana Henry, I knew it was destined for my dinner plate.
The online recipe I found differed slightly from the book (using mint instead of parsley and cilantro, omitting the cucumber and using runny honey instead of sugar in the dressing) and that is the one I used. Served with a salmon grilled with a little olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper, it was a quick dinner with wonderful flavors.
Diana Henry says, "Salty and aniseedy with bursts of sour sweetness, this is a real palate cleanser."
Orange & Fennel Salad with Pomegranate & Feta
Adapted from Crazy Water, Pickled Lemon by Diana Henry, or online here
(Serves 4 as Starter, 6 as Side Dish)
2 bulbs fennel
1/2 red onion, very finely sliced (Whoops--I forgot red onion & used a sweet Maui instead)
200g (7oz) feta cheese
2 small oranges, peeled and carefully sliced
seeds of 1/2 pomegranate
leaves from small bunch fresh mint, torn
For the dressing
1 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
30ml (2 Tbsp) extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp runny honey
salt and pepper
(I added the juice from the oranges)
Make the dressing by mixing together the vinegar, oil, honey, salt and pepper in the bottom of a shallow serving bowl.
Trim the fennel bulbs, reserving any of the little feathery fronds, and remove any tough outer leaves. Quarter the bulbs and cut out the central core. Finely slice the fennel, lengthways, and toss it into the bowl containing the dressing, with the reserved fronds. Add the onion, orange slices and mint.
Toss the salad and scatter the pomegranate seeds and feta on the top - don't add the seeds before tossing, or they will leach out their crimson juices.
Notes/Results: This was a wonderful salad--so pretty and so good. I loved the combination of flavors and textures. The sheep's milk feta I used was perfectly salty and creamy and contrasted so well with the honey in the dressing and the sweet oranges and slightly tangy pomegranate seeds. It would have been fabulous by itself but it is the perfect salad for a good piece of fish. I will make this again.
This salad is linking up to this week's Potluck at I Heart Cooking Clubs where we are making any recipe from our current IHCC chef Diana Henry, or any recipe from one of the previous IHCC chefs.
Happy Aloha Friday!