Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Fennel Side Salad with Orange, Cranberries and Basil


Last night was a busy one for my family.  Fred took Willsey to obedience training and Payton had dance, so I ran while waiting for her to finish.  I knew that I had to make something easy for dinner.  The {already} marinated pork tenderloin was easy to throw on the grill, but I wanted to make a side dish that was both different and delectable at the same time. 

A quick stop at the farmer’s market and a few fruits and vegetables later, I had a perfect combination...fennel, oranges and basil.  Here's what I came up with:

Fennel Side Salad with Orange, Cranberries and Basil

1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced and fawns {green parts} removed
2 oranges, segmented {set juice aside}
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
4 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped, divided
1 teaspoon agave nectar {or honey}
3 tablespoons dried cranberries {or dried cherries}

Slice fennel and place in a medium bowl.  Segment oranges and place in the same bowl.   Add the cranberries and 2 tablespoons of the basil.   

Squeeze the juice out of the remaining parts of the oranges and set aside. 

In a mini blender, add the oil, vinegar, reserved juice from the oranges, salt, pepper, the remaining 2 tablespoons of the basil and agave nectar.  Blend until combined.   

Pour dressing over salad and toss.  

Fennel is composed of a large, white bulb with stalks protruding from it.  The stalks are topped with feathery leaves {similar in texture to dill}.  Most of the time, the bulb is what is eaten, however, the leaves {fawns} can also be incorporated into dishes as well.  Fennel has a very unique taste, one that is very similar to licorice or anise and the texture resembles that of celery since it is crisp and crunchy.

Fennel has many nutritional benefits as summarized in this little chart I found online.  It is a very good source of fiber, folate, vitamin C, manganese and potassium.  

This is a perfect salad for a hot, summer day.  The crisp fennel and the sweetness from the oranges together make a quenching combination.  

As mentioned above, my 5.5 mile run turned out to be a good one despite the nagging little pain I have been having in my right heel.

Enjoy your day!


No comments:

Post a Comment