Fennel and Grapefruit Salad

February 8, 2009

We’ve been attempting to broaden our palettes by trying a new fruit or vegetable each week.  This week I brought home some fennel(labeled anise at the grocery store).  I’d heard that orange and fennel pair well together, and we had a leftover grapefruit lying around, hence this salad.  It turned out much better than I was expecting.  This is a salad where the whole really is more than the sum of the parts.  The acid of the grapefruit brings out the delicate flavor of the fennel.

Recipe

(serves two)

  • 1/2 bulb fennel
  • 1 grapefruit

Slice the fennel as thin as you can; for me this varied between zero and  1/8 inches, which was fine.  Supreme the grapefruit by slicing off the top and bottom, then removing the peel with a knife all around the fruit.  Once this is done, cut along the skin to remove the segments.  Alternatively, you can do what my mom does, which is to halve the grapefruit, then scoop out each section with a  grapefruit spoon.  Either way, make sure most of the juice ends up in the bowl with the grapefruit.  I’ve never supremed anything before tonight, so it was slow going, but I think with practice supreming will be both faster and prettier.

Now combine the fennel and grapefruit in a medium sized bowl and finish the dressing with some olive oil and salt

  • 1 glug of olive oil, maybe 1 1/2 tbsp?
  • 1/4 tsp salt, and then to taste

This makes a very refreshing side salad, or you could top it with some grilled seafood or chicken to make a meal.  We tried adding in some Kalamata olives, which may work with meat, but didn’t work as a stand alone salad.

I was intending on roasting the rest of the fennel, but never got around to it — instead I boiled it in some homemade chicken broth with orzo for a light soup.

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