Orange & Fennel Salad with Fleur Spice
One bright spot in a New England winter is the arrival of the year's citrus, sent to our markets from warmer regions. The bright fruit is cheering and bursting with sweet-tart flavor — just the thing to rejuvenate a flagging winter soul.
Here, the classic combination of fresh fennel and orange is tossed with a bracing lime and olive oil dressing and a fistful of fresh mint for a seriously refreshing salad. The finishing touch, a dusting of Fleur Spice, adds jewel-like color and another layer of tart, floral notes. Assemble this salad just before serving for the best flavor.
Note: If you don't have a mandoline or Japanese slicer to shave the fennel paper-thin, use a vegetable peeler: Top and tail the fennel bulb, then cut it in half vertically. Hold one half bulb in your non-dominate hand with the bottom facing up; hold the peeler in your other hand and run it across the bottom bulb, creating very thin strips.
1 lime, washed and dried
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt, pinch
3 navel oranges
1 blood orange
1 cup shaved fresh fennel (from about half a large bulb)
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fennel fronds, optional
½ cup fresh mint leaves, cut crosswise in thin shreds
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon Fleur Spice, more to taste
Juice half of the lime. Put the oil and 1 tablespoon of the lime juice into a large mixing bowl. Add a pinch of salt, tip the bowl slightly, and whisk until the dressing is emulsified. Add the shaved fennel and set aside
Working with one orange at a time, cut away the top and bottom of the peel, just so that you can see the flesh underneath. Sit the orange on one of the cut ends, and trim off the peel, working from top to bottom and around the orange. Cut the orange crosswise into ⅛-inch thick, round slices. Add the slices to the mixing bowl and repeat with the remaining three oranges.
Add the fennel fronds (if using) and mint. Use a large spoon to gently scoop the ingredients from the bottom of the bowl to the top, mixing and dressing them at the same time. Taste and add more lime juice, a teaspoon at a time, if needed.
Arrange the salad in a serving bowl and drizzle the honey over it. Sprinkle on the Fleur Spice, being as generous as you like!