My mother made a simple cousin of this salad: thinly sliced carrots dressed with orange juice. In Sicily, this classic salad would be a pure but simple combination of fennel, orange, and black olives. I omit the olives, and add pecans for a great crunch, and I season the dressing with paprika and fennel seed to heighten the flavor. If they’re in season, add some pomegranate seeds; their tart flavor complements the fennel perfectly and they’re packed with healthy antioxidants. Look for different winter oranges, too. Cara Cara, maybe, or blood oranges — which are a very Sicilian ingredient — are beautiful in the salad.
Excerpted from MARCUS OFF DUTY: THE RECIPES I COOK AT HOME © 2014 by Marcus Samuelsson. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved
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