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
- 2 fennel bulbs, cored and thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- Segments and juice of 2 oranges
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- ½ Teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ Teaspoon paprika
- ½ Teaspoon ground fennel seed
- ½ Cup chopped pecans
- 1 bunch frisée, chopped
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.