We are having the balmiest early spring here in San Francisco. I decided that it was a perfect day for a refreshing salad when I saw the beautiful, tender bulbs of fennel in the neighborhood grocery store. I love fennel. If you have not yet tried fennel salad, you ought to. For me, the best way to prepare fennel is marinating it in fresh lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Simple, but perfect. I usually serve it with Burrata cheese, but decided to serve it today with avocado, orange slices and grapefruit slices. It was crunchy, creamy, sweet, tangy and savory all at once. My favorite salad just got better. It was absolutely delicious!
Fennel Salad with Grapefruit Orange & Avocado
2 heads fennel, thinly sliced
1/2 to 2 avocado, sliced
1 orange, peeled, pith removed and sliced
1 grapefruit, peeled, pith removed and sliced
1/2 cup tender green leaves of choice (I used watercress)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon lemon and orange zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon fennel fronds
Ingredients for Dressing:
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
Salt & pepper to taste
Place fennel, oil, zest and lemon juice in a shallow dish; season with salt and pepper. Let stand 15 minutes.
In the meantime, slice off the skin of the grapefruit and orange, remove the pith. Save the juice in a bowl to use in the dressing.
Peel and slice the avocado. Squeeze lemon juice on the avocado slices to prevent them from getting brown.
Mix ingredients for the dressing in a bowl.
Divide marinated fennel into four to six plates, top with orange and grapefruit slices, avocado slices, green leaves, fennel fronds. Drizzle with dressing before serving. You need only very little dressing since the fennel is already marinated.
Use only very fresh and tender fennel bulbs for fennel salads.