The Italian name for the salad is “Insalata di Arance e Finocchio” and I must say, it’s probably one of the most creative dishes I’ve made all year. If you take a look through the ingredient list below, you’ll probably wonder what the original creator was thinking. I would never have thought that oranges and olives could go together so well.
After I finished preparing this salad, I asked Laura if she’d like to try a bite with me. Neither of us knew what to expect. She took a bite and I took a bite. We both made sure to get at least one ingredient from the list on our forks. After a few seconds of chewing, my eyebrows went up and I said, “Man, this is really great.” Who knew?
The oranges play a lead part. They’re super sweet and dripping with flavor. Add to that some thinly sliced raw fennel and some sweet onion, and you’ve got yourself one confused flavor profile. Once the radish, olive, salt and pepper are introduced though, everything comes together and ends up a seriously tasty bite. This is definitely one of my favorite salads. Having sweet mix with salt is simply awesome.
2 Navel Oranges
1 Fennel Bulb, Sliced Thin
1/2 Sweet Onion, Sliced Thin
Ground Black Pepper
1/2 Cup Radishes, Sliced Thin
1/2 Cup Kalamata or Mediterranean-Style Black Olives, Rinsed
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
As you go through this recipe, you may notice that you need more oranges and fewer of the other ingredients. It really depends on the sizes of things. Since I love oranges, I doubled up on them and since I knew I was going to be taking photos of this dish, I reduced the amount of radish and onion, just so the ratios looked good. Now that the photos are over, I’ll load everything up and enjoy the dish as it was meant to be enjoyed – with gusto.
Also, you may find that it’s easier to plate this salad in individual bowls as opposed to a platter or large plate. If you have enough people, you can easily scoop some salad up from a platter, but if it’s just two of you, separate bowls are the way to go.
Prep the Oranges
You can go two ways here. You can either peel the oranges and then slice them or you can slice them with the peel on. Either way, you’ll need to lay each slice down on your cutting board and trim off the edges. The goal is to have the glistening orange show, not the whites of the membrane. Be sure to make each slice between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick.
Prep the Fennel, Onion & Radishes
Cut the stalks off of the fennel bulb. Then, trim the bottom of the bulb, so you’re dealing with a clean slate. Finally, thinly slice the entire bulb.
Next, trim both the onion and the radish. Again, thinly slice each of these ingredients. It’s best if you slice as thin as you can. Since these ingredients are going to be kept raw, it’s important to make each bite taste the best it can.
Plate the Dish & Serve
First, lay the orange slices on the platter. Then, add on some fennel, onion and radish slices. Sprinkle a pinch or two of salt and pepper on top of these ingredients and top that with the olives. Finally, evenly spread the olives out on top of everything and drizzle some olive oil across the assortment. Serve and enjoy.
The Final Salad
This is so good. I can’t wait to finish it up during dinner tonight. Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think below. Thanks for reading!