Fennel Salad with Oranges and Black Olives
Refreshing, simple and light, this fennel salad with North African flavors is a great starter for rich meal or as a side for any warm weather entree. A mandoline helps make the fennel slices super thin and delicate, but a really sharp chef’s knife and a little patience works almost as well.
1 pound fennel (about 1 large heavy bulb)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely minced preserved lemon or 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 large navel orange
1/2 cup sliced, pitted black kalamata olives
1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons of olive oil for drizzling
1. Use a mandoline set on the thinnest setting to shave the fennel into long, nearly translucent shreds. If you’re using a knife, slice the fennel in half, rest it on it’s cut side on the cutting board and carefully slice as thin as possible. Take your time to get the best possible results. When done, place the fennel in a mixing bowl, sprinkle with lemon juice and minced preserved lemon and toss to coat. Peel the orange and with a chef’s knife slice into the thinnest rounds possible.
2. Spread fennel onto a serving platter. Arrange oranges on top in a pretty circular pattern, then arrange olives over oranges. Sprinkle paprika, sea salt, black pepper over oranges and drizzle with olive oil. If you don’t care about presentation and just want yummy fennel for yourself you can place all of the ingredients in a bowl and toss well to coat with the spices and olive oil. This salad is best enjoyed immediately after preparing.