Blood Orange Fennel Salad is a bright-tasting side dish blending the distinct favors of blood oranges, arugula, and fennel with a cumin dressing. Not only does it make a stunning presentation, but it tastes as good as it looks.
- 3 Tablespoons white balsamic or red wine vinegar* see note for Paleo
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and crushed or ground**
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 4 blood oranges or 2 large navel oranges***
- 3 cups arugula
- 1 medium fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced on the mandoline****
- 1/4 cup roasted pistachios
- 1/4 cup mint leaves, roughly chopped
- Toast Cumin Seeds: Heat a small dry frying pan (no oil) over medium heat for a minute or two. Add Cumin seeds and toast until fragrant and slightly browner in color—about 3 minutes. Place immediately on a plate so the seeds do not continue to cook. Grind in a spice grinder, mortar & pestle, or place between a piece of wax paper and use a rolling pin to crush the seeds. See the illustration post.
- Toast Mix Dressing Ingredients: In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, ground cumin seeds, mustard, and honey. While whisking, gradually stream in oil. Taste and adjust seasoning. Set aside.
- Prepare Salad Ingredients: Remove a thin slice from the bottom of the fennel bulb and remove the fronds and stalks. Leave a few inches of the stem – this serves as a handle to save your knuckles when slicing the bulb on the box grater. Slice the bulb in half lengthwise and cut away the tiny rigid core. Run the bulb down the box grater side with a single slice or use a mandoline to obtain thin slices. Note: there are four sides to the box grater. Use the side with a single blade for the best results. Use a protective glove as your knuckles get closer to the end of the bulb or slice any small remaining pieces with your knife. Place fennel pieces in a large salad bowl. Using a paring knife, cut the peel and pith from the oranges—slice oranges crosswise into ¼-inch thick fan-like slices.
- Combine Salad: Toss oranges, arugula, and fennel in a large bowl. Pour enough salad dressing to coat thoroughly. Sprinkle with pistachios and mint.
*For a Paleo diet, check ingredients for added sugar; red wine vinegar is usually compliant.
** See illustrations in the post for toasting and grinding cumin seeds.
*** Navel oranges or grapefruit are great substituted for blood oranges.
**** Be sure to slice the fennel very thinly and not use any of the stalks. See the image in the recipe post.
- Prep Time: 20
- Category: salad
- Method: No Cook
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: arugula, fennel, blood oranges, pistachios, cumin dressing, festive recipe, special occassion salad