Sunday, March 24, 2013
Cooking With Mollie #16: Fennel with Oranges and Beets
Oh what a beautiful salad! Mollie takes us into a world bursting with color and flavor with her recipe for Fennel, Orange and Beet Salad. (Recipe at link).
I first encountered fennel when my housemate John returned from a college year in Florence, studying architecture and getting fancy ideas about food. I was intrigued by the licorice flavor of fennel, which he served plain in slices with a little good olive oil and salt.
I have to warn you: if you don't like licorice flavors, and many people don't, give this recipe a skip.
It's easy: paper thin fennel slices, sliced beets and oranges in a simple raspberry vinaigrette.
I thought it would be pretty to use pink and white beets (Chiogga variety) and the almost pink Cara Cara orange, which is quite sweet. This would also be gorgeous with purple beets and regular oranges.
Mollie says to section the oranges, which I believe is a fool's errand. As that viral video says, "Ain't nobody got time for that."
I simply peeled the oranges like I peel most fruit - cut off the top and bottom, then run my knife down the sides between the peel and fruit.
I tried sectioning for about 5 minutes, then got bored and just cut the oranges in half, took out the pithy middle core, then sliced them into half-rounds. Quick and easy.
All the orange sections I made before I grew tired of it.
It does need a couple hours to marinate, so leave time for that. The appearance is jazzed up by a last-minute sprinkle of fennel fronds. The tiny baby ones are especially nice for that.