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
Put the fennel, garlic, orange segments and juice, olive oil, vinegar, garlic powder, paprika, fennel seed, and pecans in a salad bowl. Toss well. Add the frisée and toss again.