Winter is citrus season, yes, but also the time for fennel. And pomegrante!
So what better way to celebrate these ingredients than a bright, crisp salad?
Are you familiar with fennel? Its a slightly licoricey-tasting vegetable, white/light green/dark green that grows from a roundish bulb with stalks like celery up top. Just cut it in half (vertically), cut out the core, like in a head of lettuce, then slice or chop it as the recipe calls for. You can use all parts, except the core; even the little soft fronds on top taste good.
I added some crushed red pepper flakes to this dish: the surprise of heat, then pop of tart juice from a pomegrante seed, with the sweet clementine and crisp veggies make for such an interesting salad, hitting so many elements of taste and texture. Don’t skip the fresh mint if you can get your hands on some: its not just there for garnish, rather its part of those tastes-and-textures that make up the salad.
The amounts listed here make a medium-sized bowl of salad; so enough for two hefty side servings, or four small servings, as part of a bigger meal. Or one generous salad, for your own lunch? It’s always tricky for me to suggest the number of servings in a salad recipe; it depends so much on your own preference.
For this salad, its best to chop all the vegetables (celery, fennel, cucumber) in similar sizes.
FENNEL-CLEMENTINE SALAD Ingredients:
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1/4 head of fennel, chopped
- 3 inch piece of English cucumber, chopped
- 1 clementine, peeled, cut in half, then sliced into 1/2 moons
- 1/4 cup pomegrante seeds
- 2 small sprigs of mint, approx 8-10 leaves total, finely chopped
- 1/4 tsp dried chili flakes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- sea salt/ black pepper to taste
FENNEL-CLEMENTINE SALAD Method:
Combine the vegetables, add the fruits and mint, and dress with the oil/vinegar/salt/pepper, tossing gently to coat everything in the dressing.
Though this can be prepared in advance, I wouldn’t suggest leaving it for more than a few fours in the fridge: the pomegrante juice will begin to stain the vegetables and the cucumber will begin to get soft from the vinegar.