Crunchy and fresh, dressed with a mellow citrus vinaigrette, this salad is an interesting side dish or part of a more substantial meal.
If you live in New Zealand this winter salad couldn't get more seasonal right now. At the back of my back yard, down behind the vege garden, is a wee orange tree planted by the house's previous owners. Despite getting no love or attention from me, it's bursting with fruit. The oranges are small, but deliciously sweet and sharp.
And in the vege garden, the rocket (or arugula to my northern friends) is thriving despite the frosty mornings we've been having lately.
Remember that giant cauliflower I found last week? Then there was a big fat bulb of fennel from my parents' garden.
Naturally all of this top quality seasonal produce goes together perfectly. I turned it all into a salad, added some olives for saltiness, made a lovely mellow citrus vinaigrette to dress it, then inhaled it. It was such a great combination of flavours, I wish I'd made more!
For the dressing:
- 2 shallots finely chopped, or ¼ of a red onion
- 4 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey or sweetener of your choice
- 1 teaspoon grainy mustard
- Salt and pepper
For the salad:
- 1 bulb of fennel shaved or finely sliced
- 2-3 oranges skin removed and segmented or thinly sliced
- 3-4 handfuls of rocket
- 1-2 cups sliced cauliflower florets
- ½ cup kalamata olives
- I make my dressing in a jar. Put dressing ingredients into a jar, close the lid and give it a good shake to emulsify. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- For the salad, depending on your personality either throw everything in a bowl and toss together with your hands, or artfully arrange it all on a platter. Quantities aren't so important. Be creative.
- Drizzle the dressing over the salad just before serving. You'll probably have some dressing left over for tomorrow too.
- You could serve this with quinoa, brown rice or crispy roast potatoes. Maybe add some walnuts? Or how about some grilled halloumi? You're in charge. Own it.
- Makes one big bowl of salad. Serves 2-6 depending what you serve it with, and how much you like salad.