This simple salad uses some winter staples including orange, cabbage and Friday’s new food, fennel. While winter may not exactly scream “salad time!”, this one makes the short days a little less bleak. It’s tangy, peppery, and satisfyingly crisp and fresh, the perfect antidote for those times when I simply cannot eat another roasted root vegetable. (Sorry sweet potatoes. We’re still friends, right?) Beef it up with a bit of cooked chicken, some cannelini beans or even a can of tuna and it’s hearty enough to stand on its own.
You’ll need both the bulb and the fronds of the fennel here. Fennel can be an aggressive taste, so be sure to slice it thinly and try it by itself before adding it to your salad. One fennel bulb to an entire head of cabbage is a ratio that works for me, but you can certainly use less. Discard the stalks, or save them for another use–try them roasted alone or with a mix of vegetables, or substitute a small amount for celery in a soup or stew.
- Juice from half a large orange
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- half an orange
- 1 medium head cabbage (about 2 lbs)
- 1 medium cucumber
- 1 fennel bulb with fronds
- Cooked and cooled diced chicken, lentils or beans (optional)
- Cut the orange in half along its equator and juice one half. In a large bowl, whisk together the orange juice, oil, mustard, and salt and pepper. Taste and adjust.
- Place the remaining half of the orange cut-side-down on the cutting board. Slice off the top part of the peel, then remove the rest of the peel by slicing from top to bottom. Cut the segments from the membrane (as if supreming the orange). Then, slice or roughly chop them. Add to the bowl with the dressing.
- Cut the cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Chop into 1-inch pieces. Add to the dressing.
- Slice the cucumber in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Slice into 1/2-inch slices. Add to the dressing.
- Remove the fronds from the fennel. Coarsely chop 1/4 cup fennel fronds and add to the salad. Discard the rest or reserve for another use.
- Cut the stalks away from the fennel bulb; discard the stalks or reserve for another use. Cut the bulb into quarters, and then slice thinly. Add to the salad.
- Add chicken/lentils/beans if using and toss everything together. Serve.
- Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for about 5 days, though the cucumber may start to "pickle" after several days. You could keep the dressing separate from the salad to avoid this.
*Nutrition facts calculated without chicken, lentils or beans.