Thursday, December 4, 2008

Fennel with Oranges and Pomegranates

I am experiencing a bit of writer's block. I wanted to write something nice and flowery about this salad, but my mind is drawing a blank. Instead I am going to ramble a bit about how much I love Mario Batali. When I first started watching Molto Mario back in college I didn't know much about the flame haired man with the funny shoes (pre-Crocs) who claimed he was Italian. But then I started really paying attention to the show and what he was actually saying. I learned a lot about food and cooking from him and the random guests he used to have on his show. Does anyone else remember Jake Gyllenhaal sitting at that bench? Well I recently came across this recipe and knew I just had to make it soon. I loved the combination of the citrus flavors with the anise-y fennel and sweet and tart pomegranate seeds. For me the crunch is always a big factor in salads and this is good. Really good. I wish Raul had found blood oranges, but I don't think they are quite ready yet. Also, I used shaved Parmesan instead of pecorino which at first seemed like a weird addition, but it really worked well with this. This is a great fall/winter salad!

Grammy nominations came out yesterday. Guess which favorite artist of mine scored four noms? You go girl!

Fennel with Oranges, Parmesan, and Pomegranates
(Adapted from Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home by Mario Batali)

Makes 2 servings

1 large fennel bulb, trimmed, and several fennel fronds set aside
Juice of 1/2 a large lemon
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 oranges, peeled and segmented
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
A hunk of Parmesan for shaving

Slice the fennel into 1/3-inch-thick slices. Place in a bowl and toss with the lemon juice and olive oil. Add the orange segments, pomegranate seeds, and fennel fronds and gently toss to mix. Season with salt and pepper.

Arrange the fennel salad on plates. Shave the Parmesan over each plate and serve.

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Unknown said...

this looks quite good. i've yet to try fennel...

Erica said...

Very unique. I love trying new flavor combinations like this! I haven't really watched a lot of Mario- I will have to do so!

I thought of you last night when she got all those nominations!

A movie premiere this weekend? I'm super jealous!

Reeni said...

I like Mario too, but he's hardly ever on here. I'd much rather watch him then R. Ray who is on all the time, ugh! What a delicious salad, I love fresh Parmesan. I've never eaten a blood orange. I'm finding all kinds of goodies that I have to try from you!

The Blonde Duck said...

It looks really neat! You should wave at the camera and yell "Hi Mom!" at the premiere...that's what I would do, hence why I don't go to premieres.

Esi said...

You guys should know, movie premieres are not at all exciting, especially when it's a straight to dvd release. I'm doing a favor for a friend and I am sure the cocktails before will make it much more pleasurable :)

Diana said...

Yes - crunch in salads really is key! Looks fabulous!

P.S. I can't believe that you love Nancy and Mario and yet still haven't been to either of the Mozzas! It brings a tear to my eye! You must go! I smell a New Year's Resolution!

Heather said...

i love fennel. it's so good! you are pom crazy!!

vanillasugarblog said...

that's funny since when I first started watching mario I thought how can he be Italian?
I love fennel!!

vanillasugarblog said...

Ummm regarding your latest post on my blog: when can we see you make some of this exciting Ghanian food? Hello?

Esi said...

Diana, I know! I have to get a better paying job so I can eat at all the places on my list.

Heather, I'm totally pom crazy and loving it!

Dawn, I'm on it! I made one Ghanian dish like ages ago. It's about time I did another!

Andrea said...

Yum! I'm just now beginning a love affair with fennel. I've always liked it, but I want to seek it out a bit more. And I love citrus in a salad! I don't think I've ever seen Mario in anything but Iron Chef. Isn't that bad?!

Alicia Foodycat said...

I made a salad with pomegranate's this week and thought of you!

Anonymous said...

Heather (Diary of a Food Fanatic) sent me over here to look at this salad because I just made something similar, though with apples instead of oranges. This looks delicious-- I love fennel with oranges, and I'm sure the pomegranate seeds are a nice touch!

Becka Robinson said...

you and your wonderful uses for pomegranate! love it.

Anonymous said...

What an original combination of flavors. Luv it!