Fennel & Orange Salad
A foreword about stomach ulcers.
Well over a year now into the pandemic and it's a sodden, heavy, and confusing spot we're in. The initial gut punch of a planet at a standstill came with a quiet hum of intrigue and newness. Months on and I sincerely anticipate a stomach ulcer is a certainty in the near future. If you are in the not-so-unique position of being a few years out of uni, trying to find your feet, but consistently finding quicksand instead, you are among good company. The pandemic initially felt like a stroke of breath; a breath I could take before I had to start paying bills and upping my work hours from 40 to 80. Now it feels like an elephant on my chest telling me to move out of my parents house and earn more than 400 dollars a month.
On the heads side of the coin, I'm grateful that this has allowed me to slow down, explore my home country, refine my skills in the kitchen, and most importantly, actually learn to drive. On the tails side? I'm confused as s***.
This isn't a rounded out post ending in something profound, it's simply a journal entry that I felt like sharing. A nugget of wisdom I will dispense though, is that, in making this salad (and the entire dish that goes with it), I observed a sense of pride and a distinct lack of stomach ulcers.
2 oranges, cut into supremes*
2 bulbs of fennel
3 cups of baby rocket
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1-2 tablespoons of wholegrain mustard
Juice of 1 lemon
1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Salt & Pepper for taste
*A supreme is a skinless orange segment.
Cut the root and stalks off of the fennel bulbs but save the fronds (the small little whispy green bits hanging off the stalks). Thinly slice the fennel - I used a mandolin on it's thinnest setting.
Place the fennel slices in a bowl of ice water and set them aside for 10 minutes. This will make the fennel really crisp.
Gently remove and dry the fennel when you are ready to use it.
In a large salad bowl, add your baby rocket, fennel, and shallots.
Toss through your mustard, lemon juice, oil, and salt & pepper.
Place your orange segments on top and finish the salad by sprinkling over the fennel fronds.