Saturday, February 16, 2019


Oranges and avocados are on the way out; fennel and radishes are coming in. A salad to mark the change of seasons.

It’s a season of contrasts as winter transitions to spring. Warm sunshine follows on stormy days and bitter winds. Sometimes in a single day I go from bundling in layers of sweaters to sitting in the sun in short sleeves.  

In the kitchen, too, I am in transition. I’ve got a crate of oranges and another of avocados. Both winter fruits, they need to be picked from the trees in the orchard before spring brings new blooms and growth. At the same time, I’ve got fresh fennel, sweet radishes and sprightly spring onions.

The last picking of winter fruit--crates of oranges and avocados.

Sweet, with a mild bite--spring radishes add color and snap.

Raw fennel has a delightful crunch, a subtle anise flavor. 

I tossed them all together, winter and spring, for a salad of contrasts, perfect for a transitional season. The salad has contrasts in texture—crunchy raw fennel, buttery avocado, juicy oranges. In color—green, red, orange. In flavor—sweetness of oranges,  subtle anise of fennel, mild bite of radish and spring onions.

Serve the salad layered on a platter, or---

or tossed all together in a salad bowl.

Orange, Avocado and Fennel Salad
Ensalada de Naranjas, Aguacate y Hinojo

The ingredients for this salad can be layered on a platter or tossed together in a bowl. The salad can even be prepared a day in advance, although, if you choose this method, be sure to garnish the salad before serving with some freshly chopped onion and green fennel fronds to freshen it up.

You should have about 2 cups each of sliced fennel, oranges and avocados.

Ingredients for a winter into spring salad: oranges, fennel, radishes, spring onions and avocado.

Serves 6.

1 fennel bulb (about 1 pound)
2-3 oranges
3-4 firm-ripe avocados (about 1 pound)
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
2 spring onions
2 radishes
Salt flakes
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
Red pepper flakes (optional)

Trim the fennel of tough outer leaves. Save green fronds for garnishing the salad. Cut the bulb into quarters and cut away the core. Thinly slice the fennel crosswise. Place the sliced fennel in a bowl and sprinkle with salt.

Place oranges on a cutting board. Cut a thin slice off both ends. Cut downwards, removing peel and white pith. Slice oranges crosswise. Discard any seeds or membrane. (Slices can be left whole, cut in half or cut in bite-size pieces.) Place the sliced oranges in a bowl.

Sliced and ready to combine in salad.
Peel and pit the avocados. Slice them crosswise. Place them in a bowl and sprinkle with salt.

Add the olive oil to the sliced oranges. Add 1 tablespoon of the vinegar to the sliced fennel and 1 tablespoon of vinegar to the sliced avocado.

Thinly slice the spring onions, including some of the green. Cut the radishes in half and slice them crosswise.

To assemble the salad: Layer the fennel, oranges and avocados on a rimmed platter. Scatter the sliced onions and radishes on top. Pour over all the accumulated juices from the bowls. Sprinkle with salt flakes and pepper or red pepper flakes, as desired. Garnish with a few snippets of green fennel fronds.

Salad of contrasts in texture, color and flavor.

More recipes with oranges:

More recipes with avocados:

More recipes with fennel:

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