Citrus season is so welcome after a bit of seasonal over indulgence.
While I am wrapped in so many jumpers and scarves that the shape of me has completely disappeared, down there in Spain they are harvesting the juiciest oranges and lemons and exporting a little of that sunny warmth up to us northern folk.
I tell myself that I am eating far more of them than is strictly necessary because I am using them to fend off winter sniffles but, the truth is, I can’t get enough of that flavour – it’s like eating sunshine!
This winter salad combines the crisp crunch of fennel, creamy avocado and the juiciest, zestiest oranges.
Topped with omega rich seeds, chilli oil and tamari and nestling on a bed of peppery watercress it heralds the beginning of spring!
Can you smell the orange? Doesn’t it make you feel perkier just looking at it?
I like that this salad is good for me with all that omega 3 bustling about inside it and a good shot of vitamin C but, more than that, I like the crunchy, crispness of it. It’s exactly what a salad should be.
How To Segment An Orange
My usual method of eating an orange is just slicing it into segments, skin and all, and then nibbling the orange off the skin.
But a salad calls for beautifully segmented oranges with no skin and no pith!
It’s very easy to do and well worth taking the time for in this salad to get that juicy, sweet orange as the star of the show!
To segment an orange you need a sharp knife, that blunt one which fights its way through a tomato just won’t do.
- Cut the top and bottom from your orange so it sits flat on your chopping board.
- Cut the skin off from top to bottom in slices. Make sure you cut deep enough to remove the white pith completely.
- Holding the orange in your hand carefully cut between a segment and the white membranes to its side. Only cut as far as the centre to release the individual segment. Be very careful not to cut into your hand.
- Repeat all the way around the orange, it gets easier after the first segment!
How To Make Orange and Fennel Salad
Once you have segmented your orange you are almost there!
- Wash and dry the watercress.
- Fry the seeds for a few seconds in the chilli oil until the start to pop. Carefully add the tamari, it will spit. Leave the seeds to cool while you prepare everything else.
- Halve the avocado, carefully remove the stone, peel the avocado and slice thinly.
- Slice the fennel as thinly as you can – if you have a mandolin hiding at the back of your cupboard this is the perfect time to use it!
- Arrange the watercress in a bowl or serving dish, arrange the orange segments and fennel and avocado slices on top of it.
- Sprinkle with the cooked seeds and serve immediately.
If You Like This Orange and Fennel Salad
You might also like:
- Beetroot Salad with Carrot, Orange and Pomegranate
- Roast Cauliflower Salad with Sweet Pepper Salsa
- Wild Rice and Asparagus Salad with Sumac
Orange and Fennel Salad
- 40 g watercress
- 1 large orange
- 1 fennel bulb
- 1 avocado
- 2 tbsp mixed seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, brown and golden linseeds)
- 2 tbsp chilli oil
- 1/2 tbsp tamari
- Wash and dry the watercress.
- Heat the chilli oil in a small pan, add the seeds and cook gently until they start to pop, turn off the heat and add the tamari (be careful, it will spit), leave to cool.
- Peel and segment the orange.
- Slice the fennel as thinly as you can.
- Remove skin and stone from the avocado and slice thinly.
- Arrange the watercress on a serving dish, top with the avocado, fennel, orange and the seed dressing and serve immediately.