Thursday, September 9, 2010

Fresh arugula with oranges, shaved fennel & onion

On one of my trips to Ojai i had dinner in a little bistro in the middle of the village where all of the produce was fresh from local farmers.  I had a delicious salad with arugula, shaved fennel and some other goodies, but it was my first foray into raw fennel.  I loved it, but i knew i would since i adore licorice.  And yes, black licorice at that.  You can't have fun with fennel like you do with licorice whips -- no biting off the ends and using it like a straw in a soda pop.  But fennel has a nice crunch unlike licorice whips.  

I decided to make a salad to bring to Debbie's for lunch today, and I wanted the salad to be simple since i knew she had a lot of other dishes to go with it.  So, as delicious as the salad was in Ojai, i opted to leave out the berries, cheese and celery.  I'll save those goodies for another time.  I think most people enjoyed the salad i brought.  My only concern is should i not have dressed it until i got to Debbie's?  I knew she would have a lot going on, so i tossed mine with the dressing before leaving my home.  The fennel and onion didn't get soggy, but the arugula was a bit soft.  Either way, i think it had nice flavors and was different out of the ordinary.

Shaved fennel... paper thin

Shaved red onion... paper thin
Ingredients -
  • one large fennel bulb
  • one sweet red onion
  • 1 package of fresh arugula
  • two oranges, sectioned and sliced into bite-size pieces
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • red-wine vinegar
  • sea salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
Shave the fennel into paper thin slices.
Shave the onion into paper thin slices.
Mix into bowl with arugula.
Lightly toss with extra virgin olive oil, a couple splashes of vinegar, sea salt and black pepper.
Toss in orange segments.

Optional additions are shaved parmaesan, feta or goat cheese, along with either dried cranberries or sliced dried apricots or figs.

Voila!  Light and healthy.


  1. What a gorgeous salad! I don't use fennel often enough. It sounds like some Parmesan or cranberries would make it all the more special!

  2. Thank you, Renni. I'm getting ready to make a simple, yet delicious salad i just had on a trip to the Santa Ynez Valley.