This salad recipe is a take on the type of fresh wintry salads we often had growing up in Italy this time of the year. It was inspired by memories of the simple Sicilian orange and fennel salad (lightly dressed with the best virgin olive oil) often served for dessert, alongside other treats such as Panettone, or dried fruits and nuts.
Yield: about 8 servings
- 3 medium Belgian endives, cut into slices
- 1 medium red endive, cut into slices
- 2 small or 1 large fennel bulbs, shaved into thin slices
- 2 pink grapefruits, one for the salad and one for the sauce
- 1 lemon or lime
- Fresh pomegranate seeds (optional)
- A few thinly cut slices of red onion (optional)
- A small bunch of cilantro/coriander leaves, cut
- 5-6 tablespoons of fruity organic extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Wash the endives and fennel, removing excess water with a salad spinner or towel. Slice the endives and shave the fennel into thin strips. With a sharp knife, slice the peel off one of the grapefruits, cutting away the white pith, and pulling it apart into the individual sections, peeling away the membrane. In a large salad bowl, toss together the endives, grapefruit sections, fennel, onion slices, pomegranate seeds and cilantro leaves.
Combine the olive oil, the juice of half of the remaining grapefruit and of the lemon together, adjusting amounts for taste (remembering that in Italy olive oil is the main ingredient in a vinaigrette) and adding salt and pepper. Drizzle the vinaigrette on the leaves and toss the salad very gently until everything is well combined and lightly coated.
This salad combines very well with roasted meats and simple fish dishes. Or add walnuts and avocado for a light stand-alone lunch or dinner meal.