Shaved Fennel with Blood Oranges and Pecorino

by Karen on Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Post image for Shaved Fennel with Blood Oranges and Pecorino

Yup, we’re in it. The lull that feels like it’s been winter for too long and the sunny days of summer are too far away. And who knows if it’s the weather that affects us, but our habits get us into a rut. The same routine starts getting old and we begin to go through the motions, like a mindless robot. This goes for my eating habits too. I’ve hit my limit of hearty soups, fried foods, more fried foods, and carbo-loading.

My need for a break from all this heavy food was evident from all the oranges I found myself eating. I needed something bright, crisp, fresh and most importantly simple. When I saw this recipe for finocchi e tarcocchi, a classic Sicilian winter salad with blood oranges and shaved fennel, I knew this was exactly what I needed!

Shaved fennel is brilliant for its texture. It’s toothsome crunch is addictive. Paired with bright sweet oranges and rounded off with nutty and salty pecorino… oh, stop reading this and make it already!

– 2 large fennel bulbs, trimmed and several fennel fronds set aside
– juice of 1 lemon
– ¼ cup of good extra virgin olive oil (it’s important to use good ingredients here since there are so few of them)
– 4 blood oranges
– around 8 oz chunk of hard pecorino
– sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste

Using a mandoline or a very sharp knife, cut the fennel down the middle and shave into very very thin slices. Place in a bowl and toss with the lemon juice and olive oil

To cut your orange segments, slice the stem and blossom ends off the blood oranges. Stand the blood oranges on one end and following the contour of the fruit with your knife, remove the peel and white cottony pith. Work from top to bottom, rotating the fruit as you go. Then slice the oranges into thin pinwheel slices.

Add the oranges and fennel fronds and toss with salt and pepper. Using a vegetable peeler shave the pecorino over the plated salad.

(Recipe adapted from Molto Italiano)

{ 14 comments }

Maria @ Scandi Foodie February 22, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Orange and fennel is one of the best combinations I know! Love the colour of that blood orange, beautiful salad!

Belinda @zomppa February 22, 2011 at 3:35 pm

I’m so ready!! This is a beautiful, colorful dish!!

deana@lostpastremembered February 22, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Gorgeous photo.. almost made me feel the sun getting a little closer… there has been WAY too much winter this winter.

Valerie February 22, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Love this post! Also dying for summer. K, gonna go stare into these gorgeous photos a little longer…

Nadia February 22, 2011 at 6:24 pm

gorgeous photos and a lovely, fresh salad. you can’t even imagine how sick I am of the winter up here! 32 F feels like a heatwave to me 🙁

Jennifer (Delicieux) February 22, 2011 at 6:35 pm

I love all of the ingredients individually so this salad looks absolutely divine. I just wish blood oranges weren’t so hard to get hold of here.

elle marie February 22, 2011 at 9:06 pm

I too have hit the max with carb loading… time to bring the reins back in if I want to be at my goal my next month… Can’t find blood oranges here either.. but I bet if I could.. they would be astronomical.

Karen February 22, 2011 at 10:55 pm

Thanks everyone– looks like we’re all freezing! If you can’t find blood oranges, I think the salad would be delicious with any kind of citrus that’s in season and available. And if they’re big, you can segment the orange for the salad instead of cutting pinwheels.

Renee @ Thursdayyoga.com February 23, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Hey Ladies; Oh my goodness. That looks like the perfect meal; and as the yogi would say, it sounds like something that would really balance out my driven, aggressive Pitta nature;

I can’t wait til I can make this for my Mom; she’ll love it I think.

Mely@Mexicoinmykitchen February 24, 2011 at 5:31 am

SImple but elegant. Something to remains us that summer will come sometime, hopefully soon.

Mely

PS. I am having a Mexican Molcajete giveaway, I hope you can stop by.

Jun February 24, 2011 at 6:07 pm

Blood oranges are my new favorite. They are so pretty, aren’t they? And yes, this lovely salad is a nice break from fried food.

eliana March 28, 2011 at 6:56 pm

Oh my god this is making me so hungry!! I want it!

Adler May 3, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Thank you for sharing this recipe – we have tried it in the restaurant today and it was a hit with guests!

Karen May 12, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Thanks– glad everyone enjoyed it!

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