Fennel, Avocado and Blood Orange Salad
- Servings: 4.
When summer ends it seems to also mark the end our best salads. But some of winter's best flavors can come together to make salad with a colorful and satisfying combination of tastes and textures.
In this salad the fresh and subtly licorice taste of raw fennel is a perfect match to tangy blood oranges and creamy avocado. It's best to use a mandoline or ceramic slicer to cut the fennel into nearly paper-thin slices; cutting fennel by hand with a knife can produce coarse pieces that are harder to eat and will cause the fennel to dominate this salad.
If you dress the salad a few minutes before serving, the fennel slices become softer and thus easier to serve and eat.
If you can't find blood oranges, red or pink grapefruit make a good substitution.
- 1 large or 2 small or medium fennels, trimmed of their tops
- 2 blood oranges (you can substitute one small red or pink grapefruit)
- 1 avocado
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 shallot, finely minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1/2 teaspoon hot mustard (Coleman's is a good brand)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 grinds black pepper
- Using a mandoline or ceramic slicer, slice the fennel into very thin slices. Add to a serving bowl.
- Use a knife to peel the oranges completely of their skins and pith, leaving only the juicy pulp. With a sharp knife, cut out the orange wedges and add them to the sliced fennel.
- Before discarding what remains of the oranges, squeeze out any juice into a small bowl. You'll use this to make the citrus vinaigrette.
- Cut the avocado in half, remove the pit, and with a soup spoon, scoop out the two halves; cut the avocado into large chunks and add to the bowl with the fennel and orange segments.
- Measure about 2 tablespoons of the orange juice and place in a small bowl. Add the red wine vinegar, olive oil, minced shallot, hot mustard, salt, and grinds of black pepper. With a small whisk or fork, stir until emulsified. Taste and adjust the seasoning -- depending on how sweet or sour the oranges you may want to add a little more vinegar.
- Pour the dressing over the fennel, orange, and avocado and gently toss to coat. Let sit for about 5 minutes before serving so that the salt and acid in the dressing helps soften the fennel.
- Serve immediately.