This week on the Today Show I didn’t cook anything (none of the dishes involved any heat, which makes them perfect for Summer). Here’s one of the all-time great salads to get you through the dog days. Serve it with some crusty bread and you’ve got a light meal. Adapted from How to Cook Everything.
Fennel and Orange Salad
Makes: 4 servings
Time: 15 minutes
Among the most underrated vegetables, fennel has celery-like crunch and a widely appealing anise flavor. Combined with orange, it really shines.
1 pound fennel (1 large or two small bulbs)
3 small sweet oranges or tangerines
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, basil, or chervil leaves
1. Trim and core the fennel and cut it into small cubes, 1/4inch or so, or into thin slices (or shave it super thinly on a mandoline).
2. Squeeze the juice from one of the oranges, pour it over the fennel, add salt and lime juice, and let it sit (for up to several hours) while you prepare the other oranges.
3. Peel the remaining oranges and slice into wheels; then slice in half again, removing any pits and tough, fibrous material. Add the oranges and cilantro to the fennel, toss, taste and adjust the seasoning, and serve.
by Edward Schneider
A while ago, elsewhere, I wrote about fondant potatoes: cooked slowly in clarified butter so that they become golden-crisp on the outside and creamy inside. Just recently, I was staring at a bulb of fennel, trying to decide whether to slice it thin and serve it raw or to quarter it and braise it.
Another element of the same meal was to be potatoes of some sort, and it occurred to me that by using the fondant technique I might cook both in the same way, and indeed in the same pan. So I did, quartering the fennel and cooking it cut sides down, for just as long as the potatoes – more than an hour. See the linked post for instructions.