Bringing summer to a cold winter lunch.

5 Feb

There are some things that speak summer in their nature.  Fennel has a way of doing that with its complex, cool tastes.  Oranges and lemons can also invoke that warm, open feel of summer.  The salad that was chosen for Tuesday has all of those qualities, and on a cold winter day, it at least reminds us that a summer is inevitably going to come back.

This is our second go at this fennel and citrus salad.  The first time turned out a decent salad, but the citrus was overpowering.  I toned things down quite a bit and I think it helped it become a real winner for those hot days.  I can see it being served with a glass of sun tea out on the porch with the birds chirping and the dog dropping her ever increasingly untouchable ball in your lap.

I’ve used more fennel in the last month than I believe I’ve eaten in my entire life.  I’m sure I’ve run into it in the past without being aware of my encounter, but that doesn’t count!  I’m always surprised what a citrus aroma it gives off while slicing.  Its a very soft, pleasant smell that makes this plant very enjoyable to use.  I used only half a lemon in the dressing which really toned down the citrus flavor, and I increased the oil slightly until the taste came out smooth.  Teaches me to taste often enough!  I was using regular lemons both rounds, so I’m not sure how the Meyer lemons are going to differ if you are using those.

Sorry for the photo on this one, the point and shoot just isn’t enough, but it was closer.  Oh and yes I’m sure your noticing, I didn’t have any poppy seeds either.

Other than cutting the orange in such a precise manner, this dish is very quick to make.  It won’t hold you all afternoon, so be ready with a little munchy about 3pm or so, but its worth the sacrifice.  I give the new less-citrus version of this salad 4 licks.

Now playing: Suavito by Malecon Social Club (yes I’m in a tango mood right now)

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