I’m finally able to get mandarins from the U.S. again. I would love to be able to grow them, but they prefer a little warmer weather than we get in the Bay Area. We can grow some lovely citrus, like my own Meyer lemons, but oranges & mandarins tend to not ripen quick enough, so they rind becomes thick.
But the fennel in my yard is doing very well. So it’s time for this salad.
Fennel-Orange Salad with Seedy Vinaigrette
- 1 tsp. coriander seeds
- 1 tsp. celery seeds
- 1 tsp. fennel seeds
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. orange juice concentrate (this provides great concentrated orange flavor)
- 1 Tbsp. shallot, minced
- 4 cups assorted lettuces (arugula is nice as well)
- 1 fennel bulb, sliced paper thin on a mandoline
- 2 mandarins, peeled and broken into segments
- 1/4 cup green olives with pimentos, cut in half or quartered
- 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
For dressing, combine coriander, celery and fennel seeds, olive oil, vinegar, orange juice concentrate and shallots in a blender. Puree dressing until combined, but still with a little texture. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Combine the lettuce, fennel, mandarins, olives and goat cheese in a bowl. Toss with some of the dressing, until covered to your liking.
This recipe will make extra dressing.
Feel free to switch out ingredients. I like to use blood orange supremes when I can get them. Last night, we used cubes of halloumi cheese, instead of goat cheese, although I prefer the goat. My daughters like the green olives, so I use them, but, generally, I prefer a purple/black olive like a Kalamata or Nicoise.
I love having orange juice concentrate around for cooking. I keep it in the freezer and just scoop out what I need. If you have ever tried reducing orange juice on your own, you would know, it becomes incredibly bitter. This works so much better.